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University Record 

William 3aalnep Harper 

March, 1906 







Frontispiece: William Rainey Harper, President of the University 

Memorial Addresses at the Funeral of William Rainey Harper: 

By William H. P. Faunce, President of Brown University -------- 5 

By E. Benjamin Andrews, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska ------ g 

By Harry Pratt Judson, Dean of the Faculties of Arts, Literature, and Science - - - - 11 

Resolutions in Memory of the President of the University: 

By the University Board of Trustees ---------.--15 

By the University Senate Representing the Faculties .--- -- ---15 

By the University Congregation -------------18 

By the Board of Trustees of the Divinity School ---------- ig 

Memorial Address at Harvard University, by Joseph Henry Beale, Jr., Professor of Law - - - 20 

Memorial Addresses at Columbia University: 

By Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University -------22 

By Charles Cuthbert Hall, President of Union Theological Seminary ------ 22 

Poem (with Portrait of President Harper), by Andrew Fleming West, Dean of the Graduate 

School, Princeton University- ------..----24 

Memorial Addresses: 

At the University of Illinois, by President Edmund J. James 25 

At Denison University, by Richard Steere Colwell, Professor of Greek ------ 30 

At John B. Stetson University, by President Lincoln Hulley -------- 32 

Addresses at the Memorial Meeting of the Student Body: 

By Harry Pratt Judson, Dean of the Faculties of Arts, Literature, and Science - - - - 36 

By Eri Baker Hulbert, Dean of the Divinity School --------- 37 

By Charles Andrews Huston, Representing the Law School --------38 

By Arthur Eugene Bestor, on Behalf of the Alumni and Graduate Schools 38 

By George Raymond Schaeffer, on Behalf of the Senior Colleges 40 

By John Fryer Moulds, on Behalf of the Junior Colleges 41 

By Edith Baldwin Terry, on Behalf of the Women of the University - 41 

Memorial Exercises of the Alumni Association: 

A Letter from President Harper to the Secretary of the Alumni Association of the Old University of 

Chicago 43 

The President and the Students of the University, by William Scott Bond 43 

Dr. Harper in the Early Days of the University, by James Primrose Whyte 44 

Dr. Harper: His Life a Message to Us, by Maude Torrence Clendening 46 



President Harper's Relation to Education, by Florence Holbrook -----..47 
Dr. Harper as a Teacher, by Theodore Gerald Soares, Professor of Homiletics - - - - 49 
Resolutions in Memory of President Harper -----.....51 

President William R. Harper (Portrait) - - ,- 5 

President Harper and His Life Work, by John Huston Finley, President of the College of the City of 

New York -----------------52 

Personal Recollections of Dr. Harper, by Frank Knight Sanders, formerly Dean of the Yale Divinity 

School .----.-----..-...56 

The Late President Harper, by George Adam Smith, Professor of Hebrew in the United Free Church 

College, Glasgow, Scotland --------------58 

William Rainey Harper, An Editorial in the Outlook, by Lyman Abbott ------ 60 

The Death of William R. Harper, Reprinted from the Springfield Republican ----- 63 

William Rainey Harper, The Man, by Albion Woodbury Small, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts 

and Literature -------------...55 

William Rainey Harper: An Appreciation, by Shailer Mathews, Professor of Systematic Theology - 70 

The Personal Religion of William Rainey Harper, by Ernest DeWitt Burton, Head of the Department 

of New Testament Literature and Interpretation --.--.-... 74 

William Rainey Harper, Biographical, by Francis Wayland Shepardson, Dean of the Senior Colleges - 78 

President Harper as an Administrator, by Nathaniel Butler, Dean of the College of Education - - 82 
President Harper as the Christian Scholar, by John Merlin Powis Smith, of the Department of Semitic 

Languages and Literatures ---.----------85 

Communications for the Editor should be addressed to the Recorder of the University of Chicago, Chicago, lUinoia. 

Business Correspondence should be addressed to the University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 

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President of the University, 1S91-1906 


University Record 

MARCH, 1906 






President of Brown Uniuerslty 

"Your young men shall see visions, 
the Hebrew prophet. Because one youn 
began to see visions some thirty years ago, 
and was true to what he saw, we are here today 
and the University is here for centuries to 

A great personality, like a great mountain, 
is many-sided. Those who dwell on different 
sides of the mountain all alike see it looming 
large against the sky; but they see different 
outlines, form various impressions, and their 
reports must vary. A rarely gifted soul, a 
bom leader of men, can be understood 
only when all reports are united, and his serv- 
ices to the nation and to the world can be 
evaluated only when seen through the long 
perspective of many years. Leaving to others, 
or to the future, the estimate of our departed 
leader's place in history, we may occupy these 
moments simply with the utterance of affection 
and gratitude. 

No one could know William Rainey Harper 
without admiring the rare simplicity of his 

^ These addresses were given on the afternoon of 
Sunday, January 14, 1906, in the Leon Mandel As- 
sembly Hail. 

spirit. He had something of the simple stur- 
diness of the Old Testament heroes that he 
loved so well. This simplicity appeared in his 
manner: he was always approachable, genial, 
unaffected as a child. It appeared in his 
speech, whether public or private, and in all his 
writings. He never attempted any special 
force or brilliancy of style. Oratory was to 
him impossible. The striking phrase or para- 
graph was never an object in itself. He spoke 
lucidly, solidly, forthrightly, and the simple 
language of the fireside was the language in 
which he addressed listening thousands. 

This native simplicity was seen in his philos- 
ophy and religion. His mind was distinctly 
concrete and non-metaphysical. He declined 
to dwell in the clouds of philosophic discussion. 
A companion all his life of metaphysicians and 
theologians, he propounded no philosophic the- 
ory and defended no dogmatic system. His re- 
ligious faith was not the outcome of logic, 
it was the product of instinct and wide experi- 
ence. His conduct of worship in the home 
or the church was marked by a naivete and 
childlike sincerity that was touching and con- 
vincing. He approached the infinite, not by 
the pathway of speculation or sacrament, but 
as confidently and simply as a child reaches out 
to a father. 


More clearly than anywhere else was this 
simpHcity seen in his home. He was the com- 
rade of his family and the best friend of his 
own children. We may not lift the veil of do- 
mestic privacy. Yet how many times he lifted 
it to welcome distinguished scholars, authors, 
statesmen, from all parts of the world ! Each 
of these in turn discovered in that family cir- 
cle, bound fast in mutual service, one source 
of our leader's power, and each was greeted 
with an unaffected friendship which grappled 
the visitor as with hooks of steel. 

Out of this simplicity of character sprang 
a marvelous complexity of enterprise and or- 
ganization. The immense variety of his under- 
takings bewildered or dazzled those who could 
not perceive that these were all branchings from 
the single stem of one great purpose. It was 
an inner passion for unity which led him to 
undertake so many tasks and formulate so 
elaborate plans. The wheels within wheels really 
formed a closely articulated mechanism for 
conveying a single purpose and ideal over a 
vast extent of territory and through many sec- 
tions of society. He could not endure loose 
ends in thought or action. He would not trust 
his ideas to the long result of time, or the slow 
processes of evolution. He was not content, 
in Milton's phrase, to "let truth and error 
grapple," and hope that in some future age the 
truth might win by its own inherent strength. 
He must embody that truth in some immediate 
visible organization, must give it hands and 
feet, and construct for it a pathway into all 
the ends of the earth. He was instinct with 
the spirit of the crusader. But his crusade 
against the powers of darkness was no planless 
outburst of zeal. The hosts were marshaled, 
captained, provisioned ; with tireless vigilance 
each station in the journey was determined, and 
the end crowned the work. 

No man of our generation was more greatly 
dowered with the constructive imagination. 

The same power has enabled others to con- 
struct mentally cathedrals, bridges, tunnels, or 
great industrial enterprises ; the power, which 
in others gave birth to ideal creations in art, 
philosophy, or literature, in his mind blossomed 
into far-reaching schemes for the education 
of the people. On a certain porch by the shore 
of an inland lake he sat day after day for many 
successive summers, and in silence dreamed 
out his plans for this University. Indeed, he 
was always dreaming, and his spirit was far in 
advance of any associate. I have seen him 
summon a stenographer and in a single hour 
plan a new institution of learning, with all offi- 
cers and departments, down to the minutest 
detail, doing this partly as a recreation from 
more difficult tasks. I have seen him stand by 
a sand-heap and paint in vivid sentences the 
building that was to rise, and the work to be 
done there a century hence. In these visions 
he united the imagination of the artist with 
the faith of the Christian. He carried with him 
daily the substance of things hoped for, the 
evidence of things not seen. 

Men have said that he had extraordinary 
resources at his own command and therefore 
accomplished extraordinary results. In truth, 
he had no resources until he had proved to the 
world that he could wisely use them. When 
he organized thousands of students throughout 
the country for the study of a subject that was 
esteemed the driest and dullest of all disci- 
plines, he had no resources whatever. When 
he was professor at Denison and Morgan Park, 
he was almost destitute of resource. When 
he came to Chicago, he had no assurances but 
such as might be withdrawn at any time if he 
failed to evince a mastery of the situation. 
Through his whole life this man "went out not 
knowing whither he went." If others placed 
in later years large means at his disposal, the 
question remains, why they gave it to him and 
not to others. All over the land were institu- 


tions calling for support — why was it granted 
here rather than elsewhere? Because the man 
was here, and not elsewhere. "Institutions are 
but the shadows of men." Wealth alone is pow- 
erless to establish a seat of learning. It can 
no more create a university than it can create 
a human being. We may put millions into a 
treasury and the heart of youth still be un- 
stirred, the voice of scholarship still be 
silent, and the fountains of inspiration still be 
sealed. But when the man comes who can take 
our gold and by his insight, foresight, and 
energy transmute it into the fellowship of 
scholars, into the eager pursuit of truth 
whether it lead to joy or pain, into undying 
allegiance to the ideal and the eternal, then 
waiting wealth follows the man as the tides 
unswervingly follow the moon. 

But President Harper had more than imag- 
ination and faith — he had a tenacious and in- 
domitable will. His entire being tingled with 
vitality, and his will was simply immense vital- 
ity in action. His vast power to originate 
sprang from a wealth of passion, for the pas- 
sions are the driving wheels of the spirit. He 
was no ascetic or recluse, but took a frank, 
undisguised enjoyment in the good things of 
Hfe. Always he felt delight in sound, and 
therefore studied music ; delight in color, and 
gave it expression at all academic functions ; 
delight in festivals and pageants and paintings 
and sculpture. It was his principles, not his 
tastes, that made him a staunch advocate of 
democracy. A man of warm red blood, he car- 
ried within a store of intense feeling which 
made his will inflexible. In the glow of his 
own nature he fused the most diverse elements 
of the constituency around him. In his tre- 
mendous purpose were included men of all po- 
litical parties, all sects and creeds and classes. 
He instinctively divined the strength and weak- 
ness of the men he knew. To their weakness 
he offered support, to their strength he offered 

a sphere of action, and the world, amazed, 
saw men who could agree in nothing else, 
agree in upholding the educational enterprise 
of this leader unprecedented and unsurpassed. 

But let us not forget today — for he would 
have us remember it — that his great ambition 
was not to be an administrator or executive, 
but to be a teacher. Administrative duties 
were thrust upon him and he could not escape. 
The love of teaching was inborn and he could 
not lose it. On his sick-bed he reached out a 
feeble hand and holding up his book on the 
Minor Prophets, just from the press, he cried: 
"I would rather have produced that than be 
president for forty years!" It was the voice 
of the scholar refusing to be silenced by the 
babel of administrative cares. With what sink- 
ing of heart he turned from the comparative 
leisure of the professor's chair to assume the 
burden of the presidency none can know save 
those who fifteen years ago stood by his side. 
Plato in his Republic says that in the ideal state 
the magistrate will be chosen from among' those 
who are unwilling to govern. Surely in this 
respect, also, Dr. Harper was amply qualified. 
More than once we have seen him plunged in 
uttermost dejection as he felt that he was sac- 
rificing his career as a scholar to the desultory, 
vexatious demands of an office. More than 
once he has been tempted to drop the burden 
and resume the work in which he delighted. 
In recent years he felt a growing sense of isola- 
tion, and became increasingly sensitive to the 
misconstruction which always surrounds men 
of originality and achievement. But his con- 
science and his religion held him to his mighty 
task. Are not our greatest warriors those who 
hate war? The fact that President Harper 
hated official routine, and longed to resume 
that simple personal relation of teacher and 
student, gave to his administration peculiar 

But a still deeper element in his power was 


his absolute unselfishness. Not a particle of 
vanity could his closest friend detect. All the 
honors heaped upon him, all swift shining suc- 
cess, all the national and international fame, 
did not for an instant affect his modesty of 
bearing and genuine humility o\ spirit. His 
life was wholly vicarious, freely spent for hu- 
manity. If he demanded much of those around 
him, he demanded more of himself. If he was 
insistent and aggressive, and obliged at times 
to inflict pain, it pained him more than any 
other, and was always in the service of a great 
and distant end. This conviction of his abso- 
lute unselfishness drew his colleagues to him 
in strongest bonds. While he must always be 
the fountain of authority, he never treated his 
lieutenants as employees. He insisted that 
scholars should have time for research, for 
travel, for production, and his conduct of this 
University has lifted the station of the 
university professor in America. 

Of his amazing power to toil I can tell you 
nothing, for you have seen it daily. He rec- 
ognized clearly that it was not his function 
to give to the University repose of spirit, but 
to give it impulsion and vitality. His dynamic 
quality was unique in the history of education. 
Like the radio-active substances that give off 
their particles in perpetual showers, yet sufifer 
no apparent loss of energy, he steadily radiated 
sympathy, inspiration, suggestion. He set in 
movement thousands of sluggish souls who will 
forever live an intenser, richer, more productive 
life because their minds were touched by his. 

Fortunate, indeed, it was that in this west- 
ern metropolis the man and the opportunity 
met. In the cooler and more cautious atmos- 
phere of the East his work as innovator and 
renovator would have been impossible. By re- 
maining in New England he would have done 
more for Hebrew and less for the world. His 
power of daring and initiative could find sphere 
only in some plastic environment, still young, 

and eager to hear or tell some new thing. His 
break with the past could not have been made 
in any ancient university. Here in a city whose 
stalwart genius was akin to his own, whose 
vast undertakings reflected his own radiant 
spirit, he found a -nov cttw from which he could 
move the world. Here in the hopeful, hospita- 
ble West, in the magnificent gifts of the 
far-seeing founder, and the great gifts and 
loyal aid of many citizens, he found the ma- 
terials to incarnate his vast design. Men of 
Chicago ! Let not his work perish ! Let it 
not for a moment falter! You are honored in 
having among you what may become the great- 
est seat of learning in the modern world. 

When in mid-career, at the zenith of his 
fame and strength, he was smitten with mortal 
pain, he began a work more spiritual in quality, 
and so more lasting in result, than any done 
before. For the last twelve months he has won 
the admiration and possessed the sympathy of 
all who ever heard his name. Calm, unterri- 
fied, diligent, he has walked forward with slow- 
er step toward the iron gate that was to swing 
inward to the world of light. Men who have 
long differed from him in policy have come 
close to him to whisper their friendship and 
gratitude. They have realized that the finest 
heroism is not shown in some sudden charge 
at the cannon's mouth, but in a twelve-months' 
march through the valley of the shadow of 
death by one who even then feared no evil. 
The great University, composed of students 
from every nation under heaven, of teachers 
trained in many diverse fields, of strong and 
differing personalities, suddenly drew togeth- 
er, the touch of nature made all kin, and the 
leader who brought them physically near by 
his strength made them spiritually one by his 
weakness and pain. 

And since he believed so unhesitatingly in 
immortality, since each day grew clearer his 
faith that somehow, somewhere his work was 


to continue, shall we not make that faith our 
own ? Quietly he said : "I feel less hesita- 
tion in advancing into the unseen than I had 
in accepting the presidency." His life is not 
to be understood apart from that basal convic- 
tion. For myself, without reference to the 
faith of the fathers, I find it wholly incredible 
that that titanic strength which changed for 
some of us our horizon and our career, has 
vanished from the universe. Taught as we 
have been from our youth to believe in the in- 
destructibility of force, in the conservation of 
energy, surely, to believe that the end of all 
service has come to our dead leader would be 
as great an affront to our intelligence as a 
mockery to our heart. We dare with John 
Fiske to affirm that belief in the hereafter 
which is simply "an act of faith in the reason- 
ableness of God's work." Dr. Harper's last 
service was to make immortality more credible. 

Therefore in some far-shining sphere, 
Conscious, or not, of the past, 
Still thou performest the word 
Of the spirit in which thou dost live. 
Prompt, unwearied as here. 
Still like a trumpet dost rouse 
Those who with half-opened eye 
Tread the border-land dim 
'Twixt vice and virtue; reviv'st. 
Succour' St; this was thy work. 
This was thy life upon earth. 


Chancellor of the University of Nebraska 

If there was any fitness in the request that 
I should be one of the speakers at these ob- 
sequies, it lay in the circumstance that at three 
important moments in the life of our departed 
leader it was my privilege to stand as near to 
him as any man stood. 

One of these was when, in his very young 
manhood, he faced the question of questions 
that cjDmes to every ingenuous spirit, whether 

to try and live for himself or guide his life 
with a view to the divine will and the world's 
good. Mr. Harper settled that issue in a noble 
way. He accepted joyfully the law of service 
to God and man, with the creed naturally ac- 
companying — Christ, the church, the primacy of 
the spiritual, and the endurance of our imma- 
terial part after bodily death. From that creed 
he never swerved in any iota. His thought 
on immortality in his last days was but a more 
intense form of reflection to which he had al- 
ways been accustomed. 

Another decisive moment in Mr. Harper's 
life occurred when he was forced to ask wheth- 
er he could be unequivocally a Christian and 
yet accept the critical attitude toward the bibli- 
cal oracles, studying their meaning and con- 
tent without preconceptions as in the case 
of any other literature. At that time, all know, 
most church standard-bearers and theological 
leaders held to the traditional view of Scrip- 
ture origins and to dogmatic methods in gen- 

Our friend deeply reviewed this problem, 
and, at risk of failure in the life-career he had 
chosen, espoused, with modesty, moderation, 
and reverence, yet with unflinching positive- 
ness, the critical point of view. Men have rare- 
ly acted with greater moral courage or with 
happier results. Dr. Harper's conclusion being 
decisive for a multitude of his disciples. 

Mr. Harper stood a third time in the valley 
of decision when called to determine the policy 
of this University touching religion, to decide 
whether or not it could be positively devout in 
its attitude and yet boldy face the entire, un- 
dimmed, and unrefracted light of science, phil- 
osophy, and history — all that men's deepest re- 
searches had revealed or could ever reveal. 
Many thought such a combination impossible, 
some of these speaking in the supposed interest 
of religion, others in that of soi-disant science. 

Our brother believed the friendly yoking 


of these two master-interests feasible, and 
forthwith, in characteristic manner, resolved 
to attempt it. It was, everything considered, 
the boldest experiment ever made in the prem- 
ises. Success crowned it, and the happy result 
of the coronation appears in the conduct of the 
University today, where true religion is posi- 
tively honored, while the investigation of all 
questions is nevertheless perfectly free, and 
professors are employed solely because of their 
character and learning, regardless of creed. 

These episodes reveal the man's devout 
spirit, deep, permanent, regnant. He could not 
have otherwise acted. 

Whoso hath felt the Spirit of the Highest 
Cannot confound nor doubt him nor deny. 

Yea, with one voice, O World, if thou deniest, 
Stand thou on that side, for on this am I. 

President Harper's was a pronouncedly re- 
ligious nature. Could he at this hour speak 
down through our air and find a way to our 
dull understandings, he would most earnestly 
commend to us faith in God as the sole high 
inspiration that a child of earth can have. He 
would assure us, "Herein lay the secret and 
spring of all I wrought." 

No providence of God is more inscrutable 
than the cutting short of a benignly active 
life at the zenith of its powers ; yet sometimes 
a blessed light shines in upon the mystery of 
even such an event. A life may be full and 
rich much irrespective of its length. This was 
never better illustrated than by the brief career 
just ended. One's years form a satisfac- 
tory tally, not because of their number, but 
in proportion as he who lives them ignores 
and forgets self and lays hold of the million 
chances in the way of every earnest soul 
to help on the cause of good, widen the skirts 
of light, and make the realm of darkness nar- 
rower. Here, our President would say, could 
he speak to us now, here you have no continu- 
ing city or abiding place, but precisely here 

you have infinite opening for all manner of 
loving service in imitation of Him who lived 
and died for men. 

His constant faith explains, as nothing else 
can, our hero's unparalleled activity, begun in 
youth and kept up incessant to the last, cheat- 
ing death of his own ; and also that quenchless 
enthusiasm marking all his work, which in- 
spired friends, confuted opponents, warmed 
the lethargic, and forced anthropologists to 
note him as a new type of man. These traits 
did not arise from President Harper's Titan 
physique, his strong native good humor and 
bent toward optimism. The secular man in him, 
superior as it was, would never have produced 
them. They were the manifestations of his 
unique religious selfhood. 

To the same origin we must trace the great 
man's simplicity. I knew him when he was a 
young teacher, with no fame and a slender in- 
come. I have known him ever since. And I 
must testify that he has in no essential of con- 
duct or bearing ever changed. Promotion, re- 
nown, power, applause, victory, did not make 
him vain. Polite, hearty, friendly, sympathetic, 
modest, retiring so far as his own personality 
and prerogatives were concerned — these were 
his characteristics at twenty, and they remained 
unmodified at forty-nine. 

He loved domesticity, privacy, reflection, 
study, teaching, the simple and the quiet life. 
Publicity, to be interviewed, photographed, ad- 
vertised, gaped after by crowds, was not to his 
taste. He could endure these infelicities be- 
cause he had schooled himself to put up with 
whatever distasteful things his life-plan brought 
in his way. But he never liked them ; and as 
years witnessed the multiplication of thtm, he 
sighed — few knew how deep the desire — for 
release. With joy unutterable would he, many 
a time, but for a sense of duty not to do so, 
have thrown up his public commission for the 
chance to live again among his children, his 



pupils, and his books, as in his youthful years. 
This inability of fame to make good the loss 
of domestic joys another has voiced thus: 

I came into the city and none knew me, 
None came forth, none shouted He is here, 

Nor a hand with laurel would bestrew me 
All the way by which I drew anear, 

Night my banner, and my herald. Fear. 

But I knew where one so long had waited 
In the low chamber by the stairway's height. 

Trembling lest my foot should be belated. 
Singing, sighing for the long hours' flight 

Toward the moment of our dear delight. 

I came into the city and you hailed me 
Savior, and again your chosen lord, 

Not one guessing what it was that failed me. 
While, along the streets, as they adored, 

Thousands, thousands shouted in accord. 

But through all the joy I knew, I only. 

How the Refuge of my heart lay dead and cold. 

Silent of its music, and how lonely ! 
Never, though you crown me with your gold, 

Shall I find that little chamber as of old. 

Some, contemplating Dr. Harper's vast plans 
and towering ambitions for his University, its 
proud and numerous edifices, with others yet 
more magnificent to come, and the stupendous 
endowments realized and reached for, imag- 
ined that the master-builder was moved by 
pride, by lust for fame. It was an entire error. 
Dr. Harper wished to rear an immense and 
perfectly equipped university because he be- 
lieved — and he was right — that the country, 
civilization, and humanity needed such. Ra- 
tional, far-sighted philanthropy was at work, 
not pride at all save of the sort that is legiti- 
mate, necessary to all high enterprise. 

We have been told of the very remarkable 
confidence Mr. Harper had in his own reason- 
ings and plans, of his will, so firm and hard 
to change. But he was not stubborn or opin- 
ionated. He could sidestep or retreat as well 

as advance, and he often did both. Witness, 
too, his willingness, his desire to hear all sides, 
all opinions, that he might not err. These are 
not the ways of a self-willed man. If he 
strongly believed in the essence of his plans, 
he was like the prophets whom he loved and ex- 
pounded so well. He had drunk in their spirit. 
They worked and spoke for God out of a sense 
of his presence in them, and so did he. 

Rest, then, dear soldier of the legion and 
soldier of the cross, rest thou forever! Thou 
now wearest thy medal and thy crown, and 
right richly dost thou deserve them. We still 
camp upon the field; but, animated by thy ex- 
ample and by the good spirit that was in thee, 
we hope to fight well our fight and ultimately 
to share thy rest, though few indeed of thy fel- 
low-men may hope to attain thy glory. 


Dean of the Faculties of Arts, Literature, and Science 

Today we stand face to face with the great 
mystery of the ages — the mystery which eludes 
philosophy, which has given the deepest thrill 
to the song of the poet, its most somber tones 
to music and art. Life now flows with abun- 
dant tide through every vein — thought and joy 
and strife, the tender touch of the hand of a 
friend, the countless emotions and visions and 
busy planning which fill the living soul — these 
all are pulsing strong in the riotous vigor of 
rugged vitality. But now — the great silence — 
and for those who remain on this side the veil, 

"Oh for the touch of a vanished hand. 
And the sound of a voice that is still !" 

The mystery envelopes us now. Its shadow 
dims the sight and chills the heart. Is it mere 
darkness — the darkness of a limitless void? 
Is the speech of the old Northumbrian ealdor- 
man true: 



So seems the life of man, O King, as a sparrow's 
■ flight through the hall when you are sitting at meat 
in winter-tide, with the warm fire lighted on the 
hearth, but the icy rain-storm without. The sparrow 
flies in at one door, and tarries for a moment in the 
light and heat of the hearth-fire, and then, flying forth 
from the other, vanishes into the wintry darkness 
whence it came. So tarries for a moment the life of 
man in our sight; but what is before it, what after it, 
we know not. 

Is this indeed all ? Is our great President in 
some sense an answer? 

The intellectual and spiritual founder of our 
University was above all the incarnation of in- 
tense life. He was cheerful energy personified. 
His delight was in varied and unremitting 
work ; his rest was in some other work. His 
zest in activity was keen ; he had eager relish 
in grappling with difficulty. In fact, to him 
a difficulty was not a thing to evade nor to sur- 
mount — it was a thing to go straight through. 
Against adverse circumstance he was a very 
Andrew Jackson of joyous and tenacious pug- 
nacity. Beaten once, he returned again and 
again to the attack with ever renewed spirit 
and determination. It was the spirit of the 
conqueror — the very ichor of victory- — which 
flowed in his veins. 

New forms of truth, new experience, new 
outlooks on life, aroused always his eager inter- 
est. He was not impatient with the common- 
place — he ignored it, as he was always so ab- 
sorbed in the unusual and the striking. He 
foimd the world full of delightful problems 
and of the most fascinating studies. He had the 
seeing eye, which pierced the surface right to 
the soul of things. And this was life — life in its 
fulness and in its rich variety. In every teem- 
ing sense of the word the President was dis- 
tinctively a live man — and a man who rejoiced 
in life. 

A few phases of this busy and complex life 
of his I wish to discuss briefly today. 

First of all, he was a teacher — and with him 

teaching was not mere tasteless drudgery 
with which to earn his bread. Teaching — and 
all his old students will assent to this — teach- 
ing was to him a delight. He threw himself 
into it with the same eager enthusiasm with 
which he attacked any problem. His field was 
a very special one. He seemed at one time to 
think it his mission to set all the world studying 
Hebrew — and under his magnetism it really 
appeared as if it might be done. Any subject 
under such a teacher would be a delight to 
anyone. What becomes of the teacher's work? 
The architect rears a stately mansion, the en- 
gineer constructs a bridge of steel, the painter 
puts on canvass his dream of beauty, and all 
may come and look, and go, and look again. 
The teacher throws into his chosen calling the 
best energy of heart and brain, and it is gone — 
dissipated among the silent forces which create 
and recreate social life; it vanishes from sight 
like a mist under the morning sun. But in 
fact there is no loss. The true teacher's cre- 
ative work lives on — lives long after the teacher 
himself is gone — lives in the quickened intel- 
lectual life of many souls, in the inspiration to 
loftier ideals, in the character fashioned by his 
glowing personality. Throughout this broad 
land there are thousands of men and women 
in whom our President has kindled a sacred 
fire which is deathless. He lives in them. 

Again, he was an eager investigator — a 
truth-seeker. Conventional belief, dogma, tra- 
dition, had for him no weight. The only ques- 
tion was. Was it true? His was the real 
scientific spirit. It was for this reason that 
the biologist, the astronomer, the geologist, all 
found in the professor of Hebrew so sympa- 
thetic and intelligent a friend. His methods 
were theirs. His cardinal canons of research 
were identical with those of the men of science. 
He could understand. 

But he was inore than a seeker for truth. 
Truth in itself is imbecile. It never won a. 



victory, it never cleansed a decayed society, 
never uplifted the thoughts of men. But when 
truth becomes incarnate, when it animates the 
soul of a loyal and courageous man, then it is 
no longer an abstraction of thought — then it is 
a dynamic force. So was it with our President. 
When he once clearly apprehended truth, it 
possessed him. It was not laid away ticketed 
on the shelf of the museum. It was the very 
life of his life — it was himself. Hence came 
the tremendous force of his advocacy of any 
cause. His belief in it was not as in some ex- 
traneous entity; he was himself the cause — -in 
him it was incarnate. 

It is here, it seems to me, that we find the 
keynote of his complex character. Service to 
others — that was the essence of his life. Scien- 
tific truth which seemed to have no bearing 
on bettering human conditions did not appeal 
to him. If he found some form of learning a 
spiritual benefit to himself, he was at once pos- 
sessed with a passion for spreading it far and 
wide. When the building of a university came 
in his way, again he threw himself into it with 
the same devoted enthusiasm — here was a new 
way to help those who were in need. The 
hunger for knowledge, the hunger for intel- 
lectual thought, these forms of human desire 
he longed to satisfy. No new kind of altruistic 
endeavor appealed to him in vain. His inter- 
ests therefore were manifold — but through 
them all ran the one golden thread of service to 
humanity. He had no atom of selfish ambi- 
tion. In this age of greed and of shady public 
life he shines as a star of pure white light. 

Finally, this prince of teachers, with a pas- 
sion for truth, truth inspired, busy always in 
his multifarious forms of helpful energy, was 
confronted suddenly with the supreme prob- 
lem of life. Is there life beyond the silence? 
\Vhat is it, and what means it? 

These are questions which every thoughtful 

man must in the end answer for himself from 
the ripeness of his own experience. There are 
those of us who find it impossible to consider 
the orderly law of physical forces, the steady 
sequence of cause and effect, the progressive 
evolution of social progress, without the infer- 
ence of an underlying power, intelligent, wise. 
Then, on the other hand, as we face the appar- 
ent futilities of existence, the incompleteness 
of such a busy life as that of our President, 
cut off in the flower of his ripened powers, 
with so much yet to do, we cannot reconcile 
it with the underlying wisdom unless on the 
hypothesis that life goes on somewhere, in some 
form, to the working out of full fruition. 
Where? We do not know. How? We can- 
not understand. In what form ? The question 
is idle. Can a child think the thoughts of Leib- 
nitz and Newton and Pasteur? What can one 
believe save that our life here is a fragment 
of a greater whole, a small arc of a mighty 
circle whose curvature vanishes in the clouds, 
but which yet is complete. 

Men for many ages have tried to paint the 
realities of a life after death, but have never 
succeeded in more than imagery. The symbols 
of poet and prophet and priest are but symbols, 
rude and crude at the best. But that that life is 
real, that it is better tlian the mind of man can 
conceive, is the conclusion to which for me 
there is no alternative. The logic is not that 
of mathematics, which of necessity is conclu- 
sive to all rational minds. Each man must 
judge for himself; for me it is enough. 

It was enough for our President. Further, 
in his characteristic way he looked the problem 
squarely in the face, he worked it out in 
thorough fashion, he made the conclusion a 
part of himself, bone of his bone, flesh of 
his flesh, life of his life. He rested in the 
serene assurance of a future of conscious ac- 
tivity, in which his great mind and his great 


heart might find full scope. As he said to me By faith, and faith alone, embrace, 

a few days before the last: "The end is soon Believing where we cannot prove; 

coming. I am prepared — I do not say for the 

worst— but for the best." Thou wilt not leave us in the dust: 

May we not say, with the English poet: Thou madest man, he knows not why, 

Strong Son of God, Immortal Love, He thinks he was not made to die; 

Whom we, that have not seen thy face. And Thou hast made him: Thou art just. 





The Trustees of the University of Chicago, 
neither as a body nor as individuals, can ever 
express in terms that seem to them adequate 
their opinion of President Harper or their sen- 
timent for him. Long and close association 
with him has constantly increased their admira- 
tion and their affection. If it be true, in gene- 
ral, that a man's intimates lose the edge of their 
appreciation of his great qualities, then it is 
a peculiar tribute to President Harper that we 
who knew him so well, and who in the ordinary 
course of our obligations were called upon to 
scrutinize closely the proposals through which 
he built up his wonderful life-work, are among 
those who most admire his achievements, most 
approve his methods, most wonder at his quali- 
ties, and most love and cherish his memory. 

He was to us, as he was to the outside dis- 
cerning world, a great man. No American 
of his day came more distinctly and unques- 
tionably — and none more worthily — within the 
small circle of the world's great men. And we 
deliberately express the judgment that with 
hardly more than a single exception no con- 
temporary was more important to the nation, 
or in view of actual and potential usefulness, 
could be more missed from among the makers 
of its highest progress. 

The building of the University of Chicago 
almost as with a magician's wand is the im- 
mediate concrete monument of his most con- 
spicuous activities. But that great — truly great 
— construction was but the seat of his western, 
his national, and his fast coming world-wide 
influence. That such a University, compara- 
ble with those that are the growths of cen- 
turies, should have risen in fifteen years — with 
every stick of its timber necessarily hewn and 
fashioned from the forest — is one of the 
marvels of human endeavor ; but it is paralleled 

by the extraordinary development of a com- 
paratively unknown professor, filling a chair of 
remotest though deep learning in a quiet divin- 
ity school, into a man whose achievements, 
influence, and fame in education, religion, and 
the progress of national ideals have made him 
one of the most distinguished and important 
men of his time. 

He became a strong, virile leader. And he 
developed all of the gifts that are necessary to 
make leadership powerful, successful, famous, 
and pure. 

His imagination proved itself phenomenal, 
but it was no more phenomenal than his com- 
mon-sense. He showed unfailing initiative, 
both intellectual and executive, and with it the 
keenest practical sense of what could be 
achieved. He spontaneously dealt with things 
of such large importance, and with an outlook 
and comprehension so broad and universal, 
that, as his few prominent years went on, his 
sphere grew larger and larger, and his life and 
work grew more and more important, con- 
structive, and leading. 

We who knew how his thought grew, how 
his imagination saw more and more clearly, 
how his practical and wise plans took form, 
and how his personality and leadership devel- 
oped, feel how deep a pity it is that he could 
not have continued his remarkable and almost 
indispensable career. For he had wonderful 
reserves of apparently inexhaustible growth 
and force ; and ambitions and aims peculiar, 
unselfish, and unsatisfied. 

And yet, in his comparatively brief oppor- 
tunity, he accomplished so much and in so mas- 
terful and complete a manner that his work 
is thoroughly established, and with abundant 
vitality and individuality. He did not com- 
plete his plans ; indeed, such fruitful genius 
as his never could complete itself ; but he has 



left enduring foundations of immense breadth, 
and enough superstructure to guide those who 
come after him. He lived enough and wrought 
enough to start a new epoch and to endow it 
with lasting consciousness. Short as his public 
life was, he lived long enough to become the 
maker of an epoch. 

But these great satisfactions of his career 
still leave us with the immense personal loss 
of his inspiring and delightful personality ; and 
we must mourn him with no hope of replacing 
his tender, touching, strong friendship and 
companionship. He has left with us, however, 
and with thousands of others, a personal 
memory which will remain permanently fresh 
and stimulating by reason of his exalted char- 
acter and life. 

The full, final, and just appreciation of Presi- 
dent Harper's work can come only with time. 
He was highly valued and understood even 
while he lived, and few creative and con- 
structive leaders have enjoyed more quick rec- 
ognition. But his fame will now inevitably 
begin to grow anew. 


In the death of William Rainey Harper, 
President of the University of Chicago, we rec- 
ognize a loss to which we can give no adequate 
expression. Insufficient as our words must be, 
we yet desire to place on record a memorial 
of our profound sense of bereavement, and an 
expression of our exalted appreciation of the 
rare qualities and the phenomenal work of the 
Father of the University. 

Called to labor with him by his own selection 
and accorded without reserve the place of 
brothers and counselors in service, we found 
in him at once a leader and a friend, and in his 
loss we are doubly bereft. To a degree rarely 
equaled, he made us partakers of counsel with 

him for the welfare of the University. He 
freely placed before us his plans and purposes 
and invited the unreserved discussion of them. 
To an extent limited only by confidential rela- 
tionships and obvious obligations, he took us 
into his confidence, opened to us from time to 
time his hopes and dreams, and made us sharers 
in the responsibilities of the development of the 
University. In all this he encouraged in his co- 
workers independence of thought and opinion, 
fostered the utmost freedom in expression and 
action, and extended to all the unrestrained 
privilege of initiative. Not only did he court 
criticism of plans and projects, and evoke the 
full measure of conflicting opinion relative to 
educational policies, but he welcomed the 
strenuous opposition which this freedom and 
independence not infrequently brought to bear 
on his own cherished plans. Through the 
large confidence thus reposed, the strong in- 
dividuality of thought thus stimulated, and the 
conflict of divergent views thus evoked, he 
sought the highest available light for the guid- 
ance of the institution. 

This was but an active expression of that 
earlier and more fundamental manifestation of 
his catholicity of spirit shown in the choice of 
co-workers from men of the most diverse aca- 
demic relationships, the most varied educa- 
tional experiences, the most divergent reli- 
gious, political, and social affiliations, and the 
most declared personalities. The only essen- 
tials to his confidence were character and 
ability, combined with educational and investi- 
gative power. 

In the inner work of the University he joined 
to marvelous achievements in securing and or- 
ganizing means for instruction by others the 
inspiring example of his own masterly teach- 
ing. As executive, he procured for his col- 
leagues opportunities of research, and to their 
productions added his own prolific and schol- 
arly contributions. Through these phenomenal 



labors, he not only organized, directed, and 
stimulated, but led by his own example. His 
personal and intelligent interest in every de- 
partment of the work of the University was 
felt by all. To an exceptional degree he was in 
sympathetic touch with every phase of the en- 
deavors of his colleagues. 

We wish to record our profound admiration 
of the height and breadth of his conception 
of a university's functions. With the fullest 
sympathy for the work of the colleges and all 
the antecedent schools, for extensional and 
pedagogical education, for professional training, 
and for all recognized university activities, he 
sought to e.xtend the institution's work to neg- 
lected fields. Especially did he seek to promote 
original research in all the higher realms of 
human interest, and to give to the world the 
fullest and best accredited truth through ap- 
propriate publications. The results thus far 
realized are but meager foreshadowings of his 
larger hopes, whose fruition, we trust, will, 
through others hands, yet crown his labors. 

With the progressive embodiment of these 
large ideals and sympathies in concrete 
achievement there kept pace, step by step, a 
growth of ideas in which accessions from a 
multitude of sources were conjoined with his 
own fertile conceptions and moulded by his 
own originality. In this evolution he blended 
reverence for the past with appreciation of the 
present and anticipation of the future. He 
united in a singular degree conservatism and 
progressiveness, idealism and practicality, the 
intellectual and the emotional, the material and 
the spiritual. Consonant with this, he was in 
cordial sympathy at once with physical, with 
intellectual, with social, and with religious 
education, and regarded all as but necessary 
parts of a composite whole. 

The wonderful activity, the abounding cheer- 
fulness, the unhesitating courage that sig- 
nalized- his endeavors have ever commanded 

our highest admiration ; and their influence on 
the future life of the University constitutes a 
possession of incalculable value. 

In the intimacy of our relations we have 
come to know that with the joys of great 
achievements and the higher delights of 
scholarly pursuits there was commingled keen 
suffering from the thrusts of unjust criticism 
and misinterpretation of his aims and motives. 
Nobly as he accepted the conscientious oppo- 
sition and the open criticisms, however severe, 
of those who sought with him the best way and 
the best things, it was not the least of the tests 
of his fortitude that he bore with cheepfulness 
and without reply the detractions that sprang 
from unworthy motives, from careless miscon- 
struction, or from indifference to the great 
ends for which he labored. 

Other great qualities endeared him to us as 
individuals, and had no small share in making 
him a leader whom we could love and trust. 
Notable among these was his strong personal 
interest in every member of the University 
staff. Many who felt that their relations to 
him had been entirely and merely official found 
with surprise, when suffering or distress as- 
sailed them, that the President's interest, far 
from being merely official, was personal, warm, 
and unwaveringly faithful. No clamor, how- 
ever loud, no opposition, however powerful, 
could move him; and his simple statement a 
few days before he died that he had never 
abandoned a man under popular attack was 
one which many had long ago formulated 
for him from experience or observation. So 
careful, so sensitive was he upon this point 
that he sometimes seemed to have carried his 
principle too far. 

Under the shadow of the last year of suf- 
fering and impending death we have come to 
realize, as never before, the greatness of Presi- 
dent Harper's personality. Far above the 
courage that so unhesitatingly met the diffi- 



culties of great endeavors in the years of his 
vigor, rises that moral fortitude that calmly 
accepted the unalterable decree and used each 
remnant of failing strength in a heroic effort 
to finish, so far as he might, the work he had 
begun, and so to order the rest that it might 
suffer as little as possible from the withdrawal 
of his guiding hand. The fortitude and faith 
of these closing months are a monument of 
moral greatness whose influence in the future 
life of the University cannot be measured. It 
is the most precious legacy of a noble life. 


E. D. Burton. 

J. P. Hall. 

J. M. Manly. 

T. C. Chamberlin. 

At the fifty-first meeting of the University 
Congregation, held on Monday, March 19, 
1906, it was moved that the following minute 
be adopted, and spread upon the records of the 
Congregation : 

"The passing of President William Rainey 
Harper completes an epoch in the history of the 
University of Chicago, and it belongs to the 
Congregation to register its appreciation of the 
special phase of his work and his aims which 
its organization represents. 

"Among all the distinctive features which 
President Harper's creative genius wrought 
into the structure of the University, none is 
more largely due to his own initiative than the 
Congregation. Although this body was not 
specifically provided for in the original pro- 
spectus, the idea which it was later devised to 
realize was among the most important of the 
fundamental conceptions upon which the 
University was based. The University that 
was projected in President Harper's thought 
should be, not less than the older institutions. 

first and foremost a society of scholars. Much 
more than they, however, it should be aware 
both of its subordination to society at large and 
of its vocation to serve the world. President 
Harper was not content that the reaction be- 
tween the University and the world should be, 
on either side, by a mere unconscious process 
of emanation and absorption. He believed 
that the University should exercise both pro- 
phetic and priestly offices in society, but he also^ 
believed that, in order to discharge these func- 
tions, the University must guard its vital union 
with the developing life of the community. He 
was eager for the University to be distin- 
guished as a formative factor in democracy. At 
the same time he most earnestly desired that 
all the graduates of the University, whether 
engaged in academic work or not, should re- 
main in co-operation with their Alma Mater. 

"These two motives gave birth to the Con- 
gregation. President Harper believed that the 
alumni may accomplish much, both as media- 
tors of the ideals of the University to society 
at large, and as interpreters of the more con- 
crete interests of life to the University. To his 
mind the Congregation was a promising means 
of blending academic and non-academic in- 
fluences in adapting the work of the University 
to socials needs. 

"The Congregation unites with the other 
official bodies of the University in testimony 
of admiration, respect, and love for President 
Harper as a scholar, as a teacher, as a leader, 
and as a man. It is especially appropriate that 
this tribute should, in addition, emphasize 
President Harper's ambition to unify scholar- 
ship and life, and in particular his hope that 
the University of Chicago might be foremost 
in achieving this unity. He strongly believed 
that the Congregation would contribute largely 
to this end. He confidently predicted that this 
assemblage of alumni with members of the 
Faculties, to compare views about educational 



policy, would eventually have great significance, 
on the one hand in saving the University from 
sterile pedantries, on the other hand in trans- 
planting all that is fruitful in university ideals 
into the large life of the world. 

"President Harper's work has already be- 
come the guiding tradition of the University. 
No part of that tradition deserves to be more 
loyally cherished than that of which the Con- 
gregation is both guardian and symbol." 


At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of 
the Divinity School held on January ii, 1906, 
resolutions were spread upon the minutes, set- 
ting forth the life and character of President 
Harper. Included in these resolutions were 
the following special testimonies to the late 
President : 

"First of all. President Harper was a student. 
He loved original investigation. He had a pas- 
sion for fundamentals. In him the modem 
historic method and large academic freedom 
had a noble exemplification and advocate. His 
influence in these realms cannot now be fully 
estimated. While his name in public became 
afterward more identified with university man- 
agement, the love of his heart lingered in the 
study and classroom. His attainments as a 

Semitic scholar have a world-wide acknowl- 

"He had marvelous talents as a teacher: he 
had the magnetism of passionate fondness for 
his tasks ; his personality was in all his in- 
struction, making it vital and interesting as 
well as solidly instructive. 

"He had unsurpassed genius for organiza- 
tion and administration as an executive. It 
was this commanding ability that made leading 
business men respect him and bow to the ur- 
gency of his lofty ideals. 

"Such a man would naturally find dissent 
and opposition at times ; but in all such experi- 
ence he ever maintained masterful self-control. 
To oppose a new venture of his was never to 
lose his esteem or friendship. He met one 
defeat by another new-born project more skil- 
fully adjusted than the last. 

"He had a tact born, not of compromise, but 
of deep determination that could wait and in 
the meantime flood the intervening space with 
the sunshine of kindliness always sure to win 
its way for a more lenient treatment. 

"His fidelity to associates was of rarest 
quality ; his devotion to friends of the inner 
circle like that of Jonathan and David. 

"He was profoundly ethical. His religion 
was of that reverent, wide, simple kind that 
made him a brother to any man who feared 
God sincerely." 





Professor of Lauu in Harvard Uniuersity; formerly Dean of the Law School, the University of Chicago 

When a great man dies, the thing the world 
thinks of first is, what he has done, what he 
has done for mankind, what he has achieved in 
his useful life. And in setting in order our 
memory of the great man whom we meet to 
honor, the first thing that we must think of is 
the achievement that he has made in his short 
but busy life. He was a man of most con- 
structive mind, a man with the mind of a cap- 
tain of industry. He originated a great scheme, 
and a novel scheme, for the University which 
he founded; a scheme which some thought ran 
too much to form and system, too rigidly en- 
compassed about with rules which hampered 
in some ways the growth of the University. He 
himself never was hampered by the form that 
he provided for the child of his mind. He 
knew when to brush aside the forms that he 
had made and when to take a step ahead in spite 
of the rules laid down beforehand. 

But his greatness was not in the form that 
he provided. The plans that he made, the new 
features for university life which he adopted, 
proved themselves so immediately useful that 
they have had a profound influence upon uni- 
versity life throughout the country, and espec- 
ially in the Middle West. His plan of separa- 
tion of the academic department into an earlier 
preliminary part, a part in which the manners 
and minds of the students should be moulded 
rather than left to expand by themselves, and 
a later part in which greater academic free- 
dom should be given to them will, I believe, be 
the base on which will be built our future uni- 
versity organizations ; and it has already spread 
through a large part of the country and has 

'This address was given at a special memorial 
service in Appleton Chapel, Harvard University, on 
Saturday, January 13, 1906. 

profoundly influenced the university life in the 
West. His plan of using to the full extent 
throughout the whole of the year the resources 
of his university has been followed, and is likely 
to be followed in the future very widely, and 
by putting into exercise this plan he brought to 
many men the opportunity which they otherwise 
would not have had of getting the benefit of 
a university education. 

In carrying out his plans the first great qual- 
ity that he showed was that of judgment of the 
men whom he employed to help him. His 
judgment of men was quick and almost unfail- 
ing. It took only a few minutes for him to 
make up his mind, and his mind once made up 
rarely had to be changed, and it was these 
lieutenants that he chose who carried out for 
him the work which he had first originated. 
One would seldom find the head of a great 
enterprise who little interferes in the actual 
working out of the details of the administra- 
tion. Dr. Harper seldom visited the depart- 
ments of his university, almost never interfered 
in the actual administration of the rules, or even 
in the greater aflfairs of policy. If he chose a 
man and trusted him, he left him free to carry 
out his ideas and to reach results. 

No, it was not by control of the action of 
his lieutenants that he accomplished what he 
did for education in this country. It was, after 
choosing the right man, by putting into. him 
his own spirit of enthusiastic devotion. No man 
ever came in contact with Dr. Harper, to work 
along with him, without getting from him that 
touch of fire which enabled him to perform mir- 
acles of work. It was not, then, by directing 
the details of their action, but by stirring up 
their enthusiasm, by infusing into them some 
of his own enormous energy that he was able 



to get the co-operation that was necessary to 
carry on his work, and it was thus that he 
achieved his success. 

But, after all, we who knew him better and 
loved him because we knew him, we think more 
today, and I am sure we shall think more 
throughout our lives, of him on the other side — 
the side of his life which the world at large did 
not know and could not know. At first sight, 
he seemed to a stranger to be nothing but a 
man of energy, of push, rather unattractive, a 
man whose success was almost inexplicable. To 
those who knew him better his was a loyal, 
lovely, sensitive soul ; a man who was deeply 
pained by the misunderstanding that he met 
throughout his life. He had the mind and 
manners of a captain of industry, but he had 
the heart and soul of a scholar and a sage. That 
brave heart, which throughout all the suffering 
of the last years kept him true to his work. 

kept him courageous and brave to do what 
was in him to do; that loyal heart, which led 
him throughout all this time to devotion to 
the university to which he had given his life, 
where he would rather have devoted the last 
years to the completion of that work of schol- 
arship which was, after all, the chosen work 
of his heart; that sympathetic heart, which en- 
abled him to say just the word that would 
soothe sorrow or encourage weakness and wear- 
iness; that faithful heart, which made him the 
model of devotion, the model of life, for every 
man that knew him, and which led him to die 
with those words on his lips, "God always helps." 
No, to the world he was a great administrator, 
but the side of his life which will appeal to us, 
the side of his life which we shall remember and 
love, was the life of family affection, the life 
of the student, and the service, not to the world, 
but to his friends and to his neighbors. 





President of Columbia University 

We are here to mark the passing of a noble 
life — a life dear to not a few of us and full of 
cheer and inspiration to every human being who 
loves knowledge, who hopes for achievement, 
and who aspires to service. It was a very long 
life. Not a full hundred years of usual accom- 
plishment could measure it. It was a very rich 
life. Joy, happiness and satisfactions that gold 
cannot buy filled it to overflowing. For him 
and for his service, we rejoice and give thanks; 
for ourselves we sorrow because we have lost 
sight of a friend, and the world of a man. 

Hidden deep down in Nature's secrets are 
the rare qualities which, assembled in just the 
proper proportions, make men. Scholars, 
high-minded and serious of purpose, are many. 
Doers, active, confident, and successful, are 
more numerous still. Men are harder to come 
upon, and our friend was a man. He loved 
life and the joy of living. His world was a 
good and a happy world, where the better was 
constantly conquering the bad. 

He hated cant and those petty appearances 
that are the garment of hypocrisy. He knew 
the difference between public opinion, founded 
on right reason, and the clamor of the mob, 
schooled or unschooled, founded on prejudice 
and passion. He did not mistake applause for 
approval. Neither the opposition of the un- 
convinced, the sneer of the cynic, nor the cry 
of the self-seeker, could move him from his 
purpose. So it was that good things were done 
by him and with his leadership. 

He had a genius for friendship. Hooks of 

steel bound him to those he cared for, and his 
care-free hours were his most delightful ones. 
Study schooled his spirit, travel broadened it, 
human intercourse deepened and enriched it. 
All that he was and had he gave to his friends 
and they returned the gift in fullest measure. 

From boyhood to his closing hour on earth, 
he served the higher life. Eager in pursuit of 
knowledge, skilful in imparting it, and re- 
sourceful in applying it, he never lost sight of 
the main goal of his life. The marshaling of 
human forces in a great university was always 
subordinate with him to scholarly purpose. He 
often spoke of it so to those to whom he could 
trust his inmost thought. 

He died, they say, like a Spartan. How false ! 
He died like a Christian whose faith is real and 
not a thing of formulas alone. Brave, confi- 
dent, enduring, he stood at his post of duty 
while the shadows closed around him, and as 
Time's sun set he turned his face to be illu- 
mined by Eternity's morning light. 

As the years pass, the circle of real friends 
grows narrower. Those who are left treasure 
always more highly the associations that re- 
main. They love to dwell upon the days that 
are gone and to review in memory those acts 
and traits that were so abounding in gfrace and 
in delight. 

I climb the hill : from end to end 
Of all the landscape underneath, 
I find no place that does not breathe 

Some gracious memory of my friend. 

' These addresses were given at a special memorial 
service held at Columbia University, New York City, 
on Sunday, January 14, 1906. An address by Presi- 
dent Woodrow Wilson, of Princeton University, was 
also given at this service. 



President of the Union Theological Seminary 

In the diary of Thomas Arnold of Rugby 
stands an entry which was the last he ever made. 
It was made on the evening before his forty- 
seventh birthday. The next morning he died 
of angina pectoris. The entry is as follows: 



How large a portion of my life on earth is already- 
passed ! Still there are works which, with God's 
permission, I would do before the night cometh. But 
above all let me mind my own personal work — to 
keep myself pure and zealous and believing — labor- 
ing to do God's will, yet not anxious that it should 
be done by me rather than by others, if God disap- 
proves of my doing it. 

Between Thomas Arnold and William Har- 
per there were many differences of personal 
quality, yet in ways there were also strong re- 
semblances. Both realized at forty-seven that 
the end of life was near. In the case of Arnold 
the prophecy was fulfilled immediately; in the 
case of Harper two years later at forty-nine. 
Both as ardent educators were filled with plans 
waiting development; both on receiving the 
intimation of approaching death sought in 
brave self-surrender to be willing that others 
should carry into efl'ect those cherished plans. 
Both, through life and in the hour of departure, 
sought above all else to do the will of God. 

I would that it might be known by all, as it 
is known by those who were nearest to Presi- 
dent Harper, how profoundly all his plans were 
filled with religious devotion and unselfish de- 
sire for the good of others. In the develop- 
ment of the University his interest was not per- 
sonal aggrandizement but the creation of larger 
opportunity for the young men and women of 
this country. In his labor to establish the Re- 
ligious Education Association, he was express- 
ing only patriotic solicitude that the nation he 
loved should not surrender itself to the domin- 
ion of material ideals. In his zeal to cultivate 
academic relations with India and the Far East, 
bis ambition was that the gulf between East 
and West, if not removed, might at least be 
bridged for the interchanges of thought be- 
tween earnest men who could trust each other. 

I would that all could know concerning him 

what some of us know, how gentle was his per- 
sonal life. To see him in his home, surrounded 
by his children, or radiant with hospitality at 
the head of his table, was to receive an impres- 
sion of his personality which can never be re- 
moved from the mind upon which it has rested. 

I cannot conceive that his plans for the Uni- 
versity, the country, and the oriental world 
remain unfulfilled. His influence must continue, 
mediated and enlarged through the devotion 
of those who, surviving him, shall attempt to 
consummate his purposes on these several lines. 

There come to my remembrance, suggested 
by the early ending of this eager and full career, 
the noble words, written long ago and >mder 
other circumstances, by James Montgomery, yet 
deeply applicable in the present hour — 

"Servant of God ! well done. 

Rest from thy loved employ; 
The battle fought, the victory won. 
Enter Thy Master's joy." 

— The voice at midnight came; 
He started up to hear: 
A mortal arrow pierced his frame. 
He fell — but felt no fear. 

At midnight came the cry, 

"To meet thy God prepare!" 
He woke, and caught his Captain's eye; 
Then strong in faith and prayer, 
His spirit, with a bound. 
Bursts its encumbering clay : 
His tent, at sunrise, on the ground 
A darkened ruin lay. 

The pains of death are past. 

Labor and sorrow cease, 
And life's long warfare closed at last, 
His soul is found in peace . 

Soldier of Christ! well done; 
Praise be thy new employ; 
And while eternal ages run, 
Rest in thy Savior's joy. 



(January 10, 1906) 

Dean of the Graduate School, Princeton University 


With those who live from day to day, 
Not as they would, but as they may. 
And step by step hold on their way. 
Give me, O God, a place. 

Too easily we do and dare 
When help is near and life is fair. 
And dreams come true — O then how rare 
The venture of the race! 

Each new day sees a new world born. 
Each day a life, and sloth a scorn: 
On to the end ! the sun of morn 
Shall never lose its light. 


O days of dark and fiery pain ! 
The work half-done, and help in vain, 
Tired out the heart, tired out the brain: 
JVow gird thee for the fight. 

Undying Hope in dying man ! 
"Not all we would, but all we can; — 
Good cheer, good cheer" — his message ran, 
And we that word must keep. 

The work half-done ? Nay, all is done. 
Tired Workman, rest. Thou hast begun 
Thy work in us. O crown well won ! 
Sleep, silent hero, sleep. 

With those who live from day to day. 
Not as they would but as they may. 
And step by step hold on their way, 
Give me, O God, a place. 

' Read at the special memorial service held at Columbia University on Sunday, January 14, 1906. The poem was 
also read at the memorial meeting of the student body in Leon Mandel Assembly Hall, University of Chicago, on 
Monday, January 15, by Professor William Gardner Hale, Head of the Department of Latin. 

Died January i o, 1906 




When great and good men pass away, it is 
proper that in response to those deeper in- 
stincts of humanity which make for the higher 
life of the race we shall turn aside from our 
accustomed vocations for a time and with 
bared heads and devout hearts pay our last 
respects to their memory. This not so much 
on their account, for they have passed beyond 
being affected by what we say or do or think, 
but for our own sakes, and the sake of our fel- 
low men, of our society, of our civilization. The 
study of the work and life of the men who 
have been intellectually and morally great has 
ever been one of the most fruitful sources of 
new interest in the things which make for right- 
eousness and efficiency in human life. We give 
our children the biographies of the great and 
good men of the past, with the hope that their 
aspirations may be awakened for the best things 
in life, and their determination quickened to 
reach for those higher things, to live the higher 
life in every sense of that word. 

It is not easy for us, of course, to gauge 
properly the services or character of the men 
with whom we live, and with whom we have 
worked and toiled. We are almost inevitably 
driven either to overestimate or to underesti- 
mate their strength and power. If they have 
been leaders in whom we have had confidence 
and to whom we have looked up with respect, 
we may easily exaggerate their importance for 

^In the absence of President James, who was in 
attendance at the funeral of President Harper, this 
address was read by Professor David Kinley, Dean 
of the College of Literature and Arts. Other ad- 
dresses at the memorial service at the University 
of Illinois, which was held on Sunday, January 14, 
1906, were made by Professor Thomas J. Burrill, 
Vice-President of the University; Professor Edwin 
G. Dexter, and Assistant Professors James W. Gar- 
ner and Edward O. Sisson. 

our day and generation and for the time which 
is to come. If we have been in conflict with 
them and struggled for other things than they ; 
if we have had differences of opinion, and have 
tried to make our own ideas effective and pros- 
ecute through to success our own plans against 
their will, it is easy for us to underestimate, 
not simply their power and vigor but their good 
faith, their honesty of purpose, their moral 
courage. And so of course the ultimate estimate 
of a man's life and character must be deferred 
until long after he has passed away. But 
that should not prevent us from expressing 
our opinions and ideas now as to what men are 
doing and have done whom we have known, 
and with whom we have lived and worked,, 
for our testimony is one of the evidences which 
will be used by the historians of the future in- 
making up their judgment as to the really vital 
influence of those few men whose memory pos- 
terity will cherish and whose biographies pos- 
terity will read. 

I make no apology, therefore, in using what 
some may think exaggerated language in pre- 
senting an estimate which some men may think 
is too high ; but I know, at any rate, whereof I 
speak so far as facts are concerned; and the 
judgment of different men in interpreting these 
facts will, of course, be almost as various as the 
men themselves. 

Doctor William Rainey Harper was not a 
native of Illinois. He has lived in this state less 
than half of the years allotted to him, and his 
really prominent activity began only sixteen 
years ago. But in that time, without having 
held any public office ; without having been as- 
sociated with any military glory ; without hav- 
ing written any books which have commanded 
wide interest; without being distinguished as 
an orator; without having achieved distinction 



in politics; without having accumulated great 
wealth ; without having managed any great bus- 
iness enterprise, as great business enterprises are 
counted nowadays, he had risen, at the time of 
his death, to the position of the most distin- 
guished citizen of the state of Illinois. No man 
at the bar, in business, in politics, has won for 
the city of Chicago and this great common- 
wealth which we all so love, such universal 
recognition and distinction in the last decade as 
Doctor Harper. There is not a village in the 
United States where his name is not known, 
where there is not some soul which has been 
touched by one or another of the manifold influ- 
ences which his unique personality set in mo- 
tion, and has not been lifted to higher levels 
because of his contact with these influences. 
There has not been a man in the world in the 
last decade, who has been more widely known 
as an educator, as a creator, as a prophet, as a 
poet in the old Greek sense of the term, in this 
field of education. 

Doctor Harper has been simply a teacher 
and an educational administrator. As a teacher 
he had achieved national reputation before he 
was elected president of the University of Chi- 
cago. He had organized one enterprise after 
another with educational aims and purposes 
which had begun to exercise a remarkable influ- 
ence in the respective fields in which they were 
at work. As president of the University of Chi- 
cago, he has achieved world-wide reputation as 
an educational organizer and educational seer. 
He was, in the best sense of the term, and in 
the large sense of that term, an educational 
statesman ; and I know no better illustration of 
the real significance and importance to any hu- 
man society, of the seer and the prophet, as 
compared with the man of mere routine admin- 
istrative efficiency, than a comparison between 
Doctor Harper and his activity and that of the 
ordinary successful college president. He was 
not content with building up an institution which 

should merely duplicate the work of another 
institution. He would evidently not have been 
content even with putting this institution at the 
very head of the institutions of the world, in the 
work which they were doing at the time this 
institution was organized. On the contrary, he 
aimed to strike out new paths, to blaze new 
trails, to enter unexplored country and win over 
for the race undiscovered wealth in these new 
territories. He tried many experiments. Some 
of them, of course, failed, others did not suc- 
ceed; but he introduced new elements into the 
educational life of this western country, and I 
believe of this nation, and ultimately of the 
world, which alone would have made it worth 
while for him to have lived and toiled. 

He was not merely content with organizing 
this institution, this university, even with these 
new outlooks for a university, but his mind was 
ranging over the whole field of educational life 
and history with the eternal question. Is this the 
best thing to do? Is this the best way to do it? 
Where and how can improvements be made? 
He was a man, therefore, who made educational 
issues and, in this respect, only President Eliot, 
of Harvard, can be compared with him in the 
whole educational history of the United States. 
College faculties and university faculties in the 
Mississippi valley have been discussing for ten 
years new issues which in one form or another 
he projected or made more vital than they had 
been before. He was concerned with every- 
thing which touched education from the kinder- 
garten to the university, and there was nothing 
too small and nothing too large for his intellect 
to grapple with and his sympathy to seize upon. 

Certainly all teachers and educational admin- 
istrators ought to feel under a profound debt 
of gratitude for this life and career. I think no 
single man has done so much to raise the popu- 
lar estimate of the teacher's vocation, the profes- 
sor's calling, the university president's occupa- 
tion, as Doctor Harper. His strong and vigor- 



ous personality struck the popular imagination 
in a way to fix attention upon the things which 
he was urging upon the public, and I think it is 
■not too much to say that every teacher in a 
rural district, in a public high school, in a col- 
lege or a university in the United States today, 
enjoys a larger respect in the mind of the com- 
mon man, because of the influence of Doctor 
Harper's work. I am confident that the pecun- 
iary returns for teacher's work and the money 
expended on lower as well as higher education 
in the Mississippi Valley are today larger, and 
in the future will be still larger, because of the 
indirect, reflex, subtile influence of this increas- 
ing respect for the profession which such a 
career as this is bound to beget. Our western 
world today is turning aside to pay their re- 
spects to this man ; and in their doing that they 
cannot help being influenced by the things for 
which he stood, the policies which he advocated, 
the ideals which he cherished and urged upon 
their attention. It is hardly necessary to add 
that the effect of his work has been to stimulate 
greatly the facilities and opportunities for 
higher education in this Mississippi Valley. It 
is easier for us here at Illinois today to get 
money from the legislature for the higher work 
which we ought to be carrying on. It is easier 
for us to get money for necessary equipment 
than it would have been except for his activity. 
The establishment of the University of Chicago 
with the announcement of the things for which 
it was to stand, opened a new era in this Mis- 
sissippi Valley. Every institution of higher 
learning has profited by these altered standards 
and these higher ideals. 

I was privileged to stand in very close rela- 
tions for seven years with Doctor Harper. As 
director of one of the chief administrative divis- 
ions of the University I came in contact with 
him almost daily upon one or another question 
of university policy. I had many differences of 
opinion with him as to the wisdom of this or 

that policy ; but I never discussed any subject 
without getting a new point of view, new ideas, 
and even if I were not convinced, a higher re- 
spect for the intellectual power, for the moral 
earnestness, for the devotion to the highest and 
best things, which characterized this man. 

A president of a great university in the United 
States today, must assume such a multiplicity 
of duties, must decide such a vast variety of 
questions, that his decisions must oftentimes be, 
and still more often seem to be, arbitrary and 
ungrounded in considerations of wisdom. He 
must keep in mind so absolutely the interests of 
the institution which he represents that he must 
sometimes seem to be unsympathetic and some- 
times perform acts which seem inconsiderate, 
and even cruel. His only consolation is a feel- 
ing that he is doing his duty according to his 
best light. But he should do it with all due con- 
sideration, with all due respect to the feelings 
and rights of others. Dr. Harper had such a 
vast range of enterprises under his direct super- 
vision and control that his decisions oftentimes 
had to be made very quickly, and steps taken 
which, though in the interest of the enterprise, 
seemed to inflict hardship upon persons con- 
nected with it. I had occasion to witness the 
conflict in President Harper's mind in many 
of these cases. His kind feeling for the diffi- 
culties and troubles of others, his deep sym- 
pathy with every aspiration toward higher 
things, inflicted upon him the keenest pain in 
connection with many steps which he was com- 
pelled by circumstances to take. And I have 
known him on many occasions to go out of his 
way for years after he had been compelled to 
inflict a wound, in order to lessen the pain and 
discomfort of that affliction by every means in 
his power. It was this feeling of sympathy 
which rallied to his support the enthusiastic de- 
votion of the men who worked with him. I 
never felt, myself, even when he was doing 
things which I did not like or disapproved of 



most heartily, as he sometimes did, that he was 
animated by any other motive than the highest 
interest of the enterprises committed to his care. 

The Hfe of a man occupying such a position is 
in many respects a most lonely one. He cannot 
have friends in the ordinary sense of the term, 
that is, people whose interests he can advance 
in season and out of season, solely from his love 
for them, solely from his regard for their ad- 
vancement. As a man grows older in such 
work, it becomes more difficult to make friends 
outside of his particular occupation, outside of 
the lines which are absorbing his attention ; life 
becomes more lonely and the path he treads 
more devoid of companionship. That Dr. Har- 
per felt this most keenly and suffered from it in 
the last years of his life, I have good reason to 
know. But it only served to make him more 
devoted to the interests he represented, to the 
cause he cherished, to the ideals he was promot- 

I must not make these remarks too long, and 
I have only time to note one other thing in his 
career that seems to me may be an encourage- 
ment to any and all of us; and that is that his 
career represents the vast range of opportunity 
open to every young American. Graduating in 
such a small college down in Ohio that I doubt 
whether anyone of you ever heard of it except 
as the place where he graduated, without 
wealth or prominent social position or friends of 
pecuniary or political influence, he stood abso- 
lutely on his own feet facing the world, when, a 
young fellow of eighteen or nineteen, having 
already taught for a short time in one of the dis- 
tricts of Tennessee, he went to Yale University 
for further study. No one, however, could 
come in contact with him, of course, without 
recognizing a man of power ; and it was natural 
that he should make an impression upon his in- 
structors at Yale. But the only position open to 
him when he came out was that of an instructor 
in a theological school near Chicago. But from 

his study room in this theological school he 
started educational enterprises which were des- 
tined to have a wide influence, and will continue 
to have an influence far beyond the present gen- 
eration. Here he "grew in grace and in the ad- 
monition of the Lord" till his great opportunity 
came ; and as the opportunity widened and en- 
larged he measured himself up to it in the full- 
est possible manner. There never was a time 
in the development of the University of Chi- 
cago, from the first $600,000 which was prom- 
ised by Mr. Rockfeller on condition that $400,- 
000 more be raised, up to the time when its 
total property amounted to five millions or ten 
or fifteen or twenty millions that Dr. Harper 
did not appear distinctly and plainly as greater 
than the situation, as able to utilize wisely for 
education still more and still greater opportuni- 
ties. There never was a time in which he did 
not dominate, in the good sense of that term, the 
situation and the whole situation, educational 
and financial, by his personality. 

Young friends, people tell us sometimes that 
there are today no opportunities in American 
life. In fact, the opportunities are just begin- 
ning to open up, and some of you who are sit- 
ting here today will live to see a period in which 
the achievements of the last century and the 
last generation will be so completely cast into 
the shade in every department of intellectual 
and moral effort that you will look back upon us 
and our predecessors as we look back upon the 
eighteenth and seventeenth and sixteenth cen- 
turies. Opportunities are here in infinite abund- 
ance. Closed doors over which is written the 
word "opportunity" may be seen about us in 
every direction. They are waiting for the man 
with the magic touch to knock upon them. They 
are locked, many of them, with combination 
locks, it is true, but somewhere the man will 
be found who will understand their mechanism 
and know how to open these doors, which will 
then reveal such vistas of work and achieve- 



ment as the whole past history of the race can- 
not afford. The question is, are you and I 
ready to avail ourselves of these opportunities? 
Are we, in the quiet of our study rooms, in the 
whirl of our factories, amid the rustling tassels 
of our corn fields, developing those qualities, 
moral as well as intellectual, which must under- 
lie any great success? For we must not lose 
sight of the fact, and I have not dwelt upon it 
because it was so evident that I did not think 
it worth the notice, that Dr. Harper's success 
after all was not his intellectuality and not his 
rare sympathy for humanity, but his moral 
qualities and moral nature. Not all his intel- 
lectuality and not all his sympathy could have 
accomplished any of these things if they had 
not been grounded in a moral character, in a 
moral nature which dominated and controlled 
them all. 

I believe that when the history of the last fifty 
years of Illinois is written a century from now 
by the historian who can pick out the real forces 

that have determined the life of this common- 
wealth in the century to come, after the names 
of Grant and Lincoln, no name will be enrolled 
higher than that of Dr. Harper — but yesterday 
the first citizen of Chicago, and one of the fore- 
most educators of the world. 

William Rainey Harper: The foremost fig- 
ure of the last decade in the educational field 
either in Europe or America; an educational 
statesman of the first order ; a man of the rarest 
insight into the very inmost recesses of the 
forces which make for the higher life in our 
civilization ; a leader of men, of broad views, 
wide sympathies, and uplifting influence. 
Every institution of higher learning in the Mis- 
sissippi Valley is doing better and larger work 
today because of his efforts. If the University 
of Chicago had done nothing else in the last fif- 
teen years than afford an opportunity for un- 
folding the activities of this unique personality, 
it would be richly worth to the world all that it 
has cost in money or effort. 

We shall not soon look upon his like again. 



Professor of Greek in Denison Uniuersity 

It is twenty-seven years ago last September 
that I first became acquainted with President 
Harper. He was at that time Principal of the 
Academy here, and I had just begun my work 
in Denison. And from that time to the day of 
his death it was my privilege to be numbered 
among his warm friends. I was then, as now, 
deeply interested in the study of the Greek of 
the New Testament, and he was much inter- 
ested in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. 
Thus it came about that there was a basis of 
common interest and sympathy on which a last- 
ing friendship was built. As time went on the 
friendship deepened, and I can remember a 
great many conversations with him, most of 
them in regard to the word of God and future 
work based upon it. 

As I have said, he was intensely interested in 
the Hebrew language and looked forward eager- 
ly to an opportunity to teach it. He thought 
that the language was not properly taught. He 
felt certain that it could be so taught as to make 
the study of it much more attractive and bene- 
ficial than was then the case. And although I 
had at the time learned to read it with some 
facility I very willingly assisted in the forma- 
tion of a class with which he proposed to try 
some experiments in methods of teaching it. I 
do not remember just how long I was a mem- 
ber of that class, but it was long enough to give 
me an experimental knowledge of President 
Harper as a teacher. It has been my good for- 
tune to be under the instruction of a number of 
eminent teachers in this country and a few in 
Germany, and I speak advisedly when I say 
that President Harper was among the very best 

^ This address was given at a memorial service 
held in Granville, Ohio, on Sunday, January 14, 1906. 

teachers of his time. He had an ability to teach 
such as very few men have. He had that rare 
ability of awakening enthusiasm in his pupils 
for the studies they were pursuing — an ability 
which no amount of mere knowledge can sup- 
ply or awaken. I have known but few teachers 
who could surpass him in that respect. 

President Harper had many of the qualities 
of a teacher which accompany this power, al- 
though they do not create it. I will allude very 
briefly to three of these. 

In the first place, he was thoroughly informed 
about the subject which he taught. It was his 
delight to delve deep in its lore. He loved it. 
He loved to teach it to others. It was no irk- 
some task to him to spend hours in guiding oth- 
ers along the road he had traveled. I remember 
asking him one day if he really understood the 
origin of all the peculiar forms of the language 
he was so much interested in, the Hebrew, and 
he replied that he thought he knew them all but 
one which he mentioned, and he believed he 
would soon have cleared up all his doubts 
about that. He was always willing and eager 
to spend all the time and labor necessary to 
master his subject. And I knew no man who 
could work more hours than he. 

In the second place, he had an intense per- 
sonal interest in his pupils. His interest was 
not limited to the classroom or the subject 
taught, or to the school. He was interested in 
all that concerned his pupil. Although working 
more hours than most men work, he was always 
ready to form new classes outside of the regu- 
lar hours, to help along his students. He made 
each pupil to feel that he knew about him, that 
he was his friend, ready to do everything in his 
power to assist him. Of course, the inevitable 
result of this was that he awakened an un- 



bounded enthusiasm in all who came under his 

In the third place, he had an immense driving 
power among his classes. He could get more 
work out of his students than any teacher I ever 
knew. He made large demands upon them and 
made them feel that they must meet them. He 
made them feel that they wanted to meet these 
demands. They wanted to do it more than any- 
thing else. In fact, this went so far that I have 
known his colleagues to object that he was 
drawing to his work the whole working power 
of his students, so that they had little left for 
other studies. The students often felt that they 
must get Harper's lessons before all others. 
The others could take what was left. 

I have called these three qualities or char- 
acteristics which President Harper possessed in 
a very high degree the frequent accompaniments 
of great teaching power, because, although 
they usually accompany it, a man may, in my 
judgment, possess them all and not be a really 
great teacher. In fact, some great teachers do 
not possess any of them in a high degree. They 
are important but not essential. They are val- 
uable but not indispensable. 

The one thing which made President Harper 
the great teacher that he was, was his attitude 
toward the truth — linguistic truth, philosophi- 
cal truth, biblical truth. He was eager for it. He 
wanted to possess it. He was willing to work 
for it and to sacrifice for it. And more than 
that, he was willing to accept it when he found 
it, no matter what it was, or how it appeared. 

I have known men who would work for the 
truth, but who were afraid of it when they 
found it. If it had any different appearance 
from the truth with which they were familiar, 
they were unwilling to accept it. They did not 
like its unsettling effects. They could not bring 
themselves to make the new adjustments which 
this new truth, or new phase of truth, de- 
manded. They wanted things left as they were, 
as they had been accustomed to them. But 
President Harper was not of this sort. He 
wanted the truth, and when he found it he let 
that truth have him; he let it possess him. 
Other things could take care of themselves. The 
truth had the right of way. Other things must 
yield to it and adjust to it. 

In all these respects the truth to President 
Harper was not, as it is to so many, a thing of 
the past ; something done up in a package with a 
label on it to refer to. The truth to him was 
not a dead past, but a living, present reality 
and power; something that could be used, ap- 
propriated, adjusted, wrought into the life of 
the present. He did not despise the truth of 
the past, but he was most interested in that of 
the present. He was not afraid of it. He 
wanted it, and he was willing to yield himself 
tc its guidance. He felt safe in following it. 
He did follow it with confidence. In the last 
letter which I received from him, less than a 
year ago, he said that he did not know what 
God had in store for him, but that he should 
fearlessly follow on, doing the work assigned 
to him, to the end. Surely it is a worthy ex- 
ample for every believer. 




Students and Friends: Let me fix your 
minds on the purpose of this meeting. It is a 
memorial service to Dr. William R. Harper, 
President of the University of Chicago. By 
virtue of our affiliation with Chicago he was 
our President, too. Last week he said good- 
bye, passed through the gates of death, and 
journeyed on to the City Eternal. He died, 
as he had lived, victoriously. There was no 
dread of the unseen in his mind, there was no 
halting doubt as to what waited him on the 
morrow. The expectation of immortality, 
while grounded in reasonable convictiors. 
rests, in the last analysis, on faith, and he had 
faith. Like Moses he walked as seeing Him 
who is invisible, accepted the belief in a future 
life, and ordered his life on the principle that 
it was true. 

This vast audience, assembled here to honor 
his name, is a proof of how well known he was. 
Here in Florida, he has stood on this platform 
and looked into the faces of a DeLand audience, 
and spoken a message of cheer. He has done 
the same in many widely separated places. 
The universities of this country are the symbols 
of our people's highest thinking and noblest 
ideals, and it is in the universities that this man 
will be most honored by thinkers, investigators, 
critics, by men of intellectual power and men 
of action, leaders of thought, and makers of 
opinion. These men will rise up all over this 
land and will say that one of the most forceful, 
resourceful, and fruitful men of this age was 
William R. Harper. 

A mighty leader has fallen. He was a prince 
among his fellow men. None ever worked with 
him without acknowledging his headship. 

'This address was given at the memorial exer- 
cises held at John B. Stetson University, DeLand, 
Florida, on Sunday, January 14, 1906. 

They did not always agree with him, but they 
said this man can do more and do it better 
than the rest of us. They never worked with 
him without saying he is a tireless worker, he 
toils night and day, he is perpetually planning, 
daily bringing things to pass. Those who did 
not agree with him would have to confess that 
he had done his thinking and produced results, 
while they were dreaming about it and flattering 
themselves that they were right and that his 
way was wrong or not so good as theirs. And 
this is no reflection on any one who ever worked 
with him. It was the common experience of 
all. He was a mighty man of action, great in 
word and deed. 

Energy of character was the most conspicu- 
ous trait in President Harper as I knew him. 
He was a dynamo full charged. He fairly 
throbbed with an excess of physical energy 
in his best days. He drove his work continu- 
ally. His will never balked at obstacles. His 
energy of spirit attacked the day's work in a 
masterful way. His sturdy will kept his tired 
body at work till midnight and urged it to 
its tasks again "in the early morning. 

I have seen his eyes dance with enthusiasm. 
He was not like other men. Other men, for 
that reason, failed to understand him. I do not 
mean by that that he suffered much from being 
misunderstood. His admirers failed to 
understand him. I have sometimes heard them 
say that he did not have poise, that he was too 
sanguine and allowed his feelings to run away 
with his judgment. But results proved tliat he 
did not. 

Connected with his energy was his industry. 
He was indeed an indefatigable worker. 
Sitting at Dr. Harper's dinner-table once, next 
to Dr. A. B. Bruce of Scotland, I heard the 
latter say of Dr. Harper, "I don't believe he 



ever goes to bed. I have lived in the house with 
him three months. He is always at work when 
I go to bed, late or early, and he is always at 
work when I arise, late or early." Once at 
Chautauqua he told his Hebrew class in which 
I studied, "You are neither to eat, drink, nor 
sleep. You will recite three times a day, six 
days a week. Study nothing but Hebrew. Go 
to no side interest. Begin with the rising of the 
sun Monday and stop with the chimes Saturday 
night." That is the way this unusual man 
worked himself, and others were willing to do 
it for him. 

Dr. Harper's use of time was a thing that 
impressed me. He knew the value of odd 
minutes. He did not lose time doing over and 
over again things already done, nor idly con- 
templating his achievements and flattering 
himself about them. Time was too precious. 
Once a thing was done he dismissed it, except 
as he had to review it. On he went to new 
tasks. His day was carefully planned. Office 
hours, class hours, study hours, committee 
meetings, were all set in order. Not a minute 
went to waste. Odds and ends of time, incident 
to executive work, were carefully utilized. He 
has told me that many a time after his day's 
work at Denison Academy was over, he would 
spend the whole night in studying Hebrew. 
Some of us remember reciting to him at Chi- 
cago at seven in the morning, and afterward 
going to our breakfast, he having had his at six. 
By nine his class work was over and the day 
was given to business. 

Another great characteristic of Dr. Harper 
was his ability to set others to work, not merely 
for his own plans but for theirs. He drew 
many very able young men to his side. He 
energized them. They became enthusiastic 
over the possibilities of a given course as he 
opened it. Hundreds have felt his power in 
this way. They flocked to his classes at Yale, 
and in the summer schools, and later at Chi- 

cago. They have gone out over the country 
and still feel his powerful personality. It was 
not magnetism so much as enthusiasm and 
example that did it. He cast a spell over people. 
They wondered and admired. Hundreds of 
men in American pulpits, colleges, and divinity 
schools today owe their zeal in careful Bible 
study to President Harper. Through them he 
reaches hundreds of others. His boys liked to 
work for him. Many of them were older than 
he was, but they gladly acknowledged his zeal- 
ous leadership and held up his hands. 

The outward facts of his life were remark- 
able. At the age of nineteen, after two years 
of study, he took his doctor's degree at Yale 
under the famous Dr. Whitney, his thesis be- 
ing a comparative study of the prepositions in 
Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and Gothic. He found 
his earlier work at Morgan Park in teaching 
Hebrew. He began to organize summer 
schools for Hebrew and the Bible, and soon 
had five scattered over the United States. He 
wrote books, started magazines, taught even- 
ing classes. He became a professor at Yale, 
and there his fame grew. He was a wonderful 
teacher, with a capacity for interesting people 
that was unequaled. 

Dr. Harper lived with a great moral pur- 
pose. His dispositions of will were right. He 
allied himself with good men for good works. 
He daily threw his powerful influence on the 
side of great ideals. He was clean in his heart 
and in his speech. He worked for good causes 
all the time. His nature concealed nothing. 
He was true to his convictions. He had faith 
in God and in his fellow men. He wrought for 
lasting ends, never sparing himself. There was 
nothing perverse about him, nothing cynical or 
censorious. He tried to be all that he believed 
in. He was cheerful, even jolly. He was kind 
to every member of his classes, even to those 
who might irritate him. All the while he 
worked he felt guided by Divine Providence. 



This was no abstraction to him. He had the 
Hebrew idea of God as a living person. He 
believed so well in God that he put himself in 
harmony with Him. His purpose was to fulfil 
the will of God in his own life. 

President Harper has had many critics be- 
cause of his alleged views of the Bible. He 
knew the text of the Bible better than any one 
I have ever known. He was at home in the 
Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and was a 
wonder to his classes in syntax as he thumbed 
its pages to prove a rule of grammar. His 
philological and grammatical mastery of He- 
brew impressed some even more than his his- 
torical or theological construction did. But 
that was likely because of his method, which 
was Socratic. I have known students to rail at 
Dr. Harper for things he did not teach or 
believe. They imputed ideas to him that he 
brought out in the classroom without neces- 
sarily endorsing. He presented both sides of 
every question, and however radical his views 
on questions of textual or historical criticism, 
he always held them honestly, and just as hon- 
estly believed in the essentials of salvation 
taught by the Bible. His make-up was not 
that of an exhorter but of the student and 

It was the Bible that made him. He loved 
it above every book in the world. He knew 
it better than any other book and better than 
any one else that I know. He constantly 
studied it and taught it. It stands to reason 
that any one who will put more time on it 
than others, is likely to get a different, perhaps 
a better, understanding of it. He was never 
its hostile critic. He opened his classes with 
prayer. He never joked about the Bible, al- 
ways speaking reverently about it. Nothing 
interested him so much as questions about the 
Bible. He devoted himself to Hebrew and 
Semitic, to archeology, to excavation and dis- 
covery, to providing books, magazines, a mu- 

seum, chairs, and funds that would shed more 
light on the Bible, and to organizing all agen- 
cies that teach it; but he was deeply interested, 
too, in what others were doing to rouse people 
to a sense of their spiritual needs and the satis- 
faction the Bible would give them. 

The University of Chicago was his greatest 
work. He more than once thought of his first 
loves and expressed the opinion that he would 
rather be known by his books than by other 
things. But the University of Chicago is his 
monument. As he organized Hebrew gram- 
mar, so he did schools and departments. His 
work at the University meant the gathering of 
resources, the directing of energies, and the 
starting of influences that will continue for 
hundreds of years. 

Everyone said he would die in middle life, 
and he did. Our mortal part will not stand 
such a pace. Apart from his native energy, 
which urged him on, doubtless his philosophy 
of life was that he should spend it to best ad- 
vantage. And this he did. In his brief term 
he lived a thousand years, as other men count 
life. He proved that "we live in deeds, not 
years, in thoughts, not breaths, in heart throbs, 
not in figures on a dial." He gathered himself 
together with all care and threw himself into 
his work with unstinted enthusiasm. Some 
people ask, did it pay? That depends on what 
one is living for. Others have said, speaking 
of his salary, that he was well paid. Dr. 
Harper never thought of that. It didn't pay, 
if money is the standard of value. Men of 
Dr. Harper's class never ask that question. 
He did not. He was doing a life work. He 
was called to do it. He gave himself to the 
doing of it, and he found life. The paradox of 
life, as he knew it, is that one must give to 
have, spend in order to increase, die in order 
to live. He gave his life in service. He took 
the risks of death as all good soldiers do, and 
he met it unafraid. 



He was great in his life and great in his 
death. Knowing that the shadow was on him, 
he never flinched. He did not even murmur. 
He dared even greater things. Forgetting the 
things that were behind at the very moment 
when one might expect reminiscence, he 
pressed on to the things that were before: 

To feel the fog in my throat, 

The mist in my face, 
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote 

I am nearing the place. 
The power of the night, the press of the storm, 

The post of the foe. 

There was for him "one fight more, the best 
and the last." So he girded himself, and fought 
the fight, and conquered. He grounded his 
life in the Bible — in its ethics, religion, psychol- 
ogy, practical wisdom and examples. He lived 
much with Moses, David, Isaiah, Amos, Job, 
Paul, and Jesus the Christ. He caught their 
inspiration. He lived for their ideals. For his 
unusual methods he was condemned sometimes 
as they were. But they were in his blood, and 
he died with the fortitude and moral grandeur 
of the heroes of old. 





Dean of the Faculties of Arts, Literature, and Science 

One of the most striking facts which have 
come to me in my relations to Dr. Harper 
is the very warm personal affection enter- 
tained for him by a great number and a great 
variety of men. They are men who apparently 
oftentimes have not had very much in common 
one with another, and yet all have this common 
attachment which has bound them closely to 
the President and which in turn bound him to 
them. This kind of affection between men is a 
matter common in your experience and in mine. 
We know that ties formed among college stu- 
dents in their life together are exceedingly close 
and long continued, in fact, becoming some of 
the most permanent and tender among the rela- 
tions of life. Such affection, binding men to- 
gether, peculiar in its character, is strong be- 
yond any possibility of description. It is this 
with which we are familiar and which we recog- 
nize as a common and very interesting fact in 
life. The unique thiiig with our President was, 
as I have said, that this affection existed be- 
tween him and so many men living under so 
many different conditions and with so many 
different sets of ideals. 

In seeking for the causes of this very un- 
usual fact I have been inclined to find them in 
two things which were very highly developed 
and very conspicuous in the character of Dr. 
Harper. The first of these was his wide range 
of sympathy with all sorts and conditions of 
men. He understood men in all relations of 
life and sympathized keenly with them in their 
ideals and in their ambitions. He understood 
the scholar and investigator. He understood 
the active man of affairs. He understood the 

^ These addresses were given in the Leon Man- 
del Assembly Hall on Monday, January 15, 1906. 

young man — the student. He understood men 
in public life. He understood the warm feeling 
of national patriotism. He understood the ac- 
tive organized life of the young man. He was 
in keen sympathy with college spirit. He was 
very much interested in public education. In 
fact, there was hardly a form of modern activ- 
ity, wholesome in its character, with which he 
was not in touch and in close sympathetic rela- 
tions. This great catholicity of sympathy, ac- 
companied as it was by a tender affectionate 
disposition, I think is one thing that greatly en- 
deared him to so many men in so many lines of 
modern activity. 

Another side of Dr. Harper's character 
which was very obvious to all who knew him 
closely, was his firm faith in the future and in 
what could be done with it. Many and many 
a time I have gone into his presence with some 
problem, feeling doubtful and perhaps dis- 
couraged, but five minutes with his great en- 
thusiasm and warm faith sufficed to convert 
the entire attitude of mind to one sympathetic 
with his. This we call magnetism. The 
foundation lies in enthusiasm, in confidence, 
and in this abounding energy of his which con- 
verted every plan in his mind at once into a 
plan accomplished. This enthusiasm of his 
was contagious, and his faith in the future and 
in human possibilities became converted in 
every man's mind into a similar faith and simi- 
lar enthusiasm which made many things possi- 
ble which otherwise would have been entirely 

We are discussing at this time the advisabil- 
ity of placing in the quadrangles some stately 
building which shall stand for all time as a me- 
morial for our lost President. That such plan 
will be carried out I confidently believe; and 
yet, after all, the best memorial of Dr. Harper 
which can ever exist is the University which he 



founded. We must remember, too, that the 
University is not its lands, its buildings, its en- 
dowments alone. The University is the entire 
body of men and women, faculty and students, 
who compose the University community, who 
are here for the common purpose of attainment 
in a high intellectual life, with the common pur- 
pose of adding to knowledge by research. If 
we, then, wish to do our best to keep green the 
memory of the intellectual founder of the Uni- 
versity, shall we not all of us. Faculty and stud- 
ents alike, unite in doing the best that within 
us lies to make the University all that Dr. Har- 
per ever dreamed ? To that end above all things 
we need to remember that we can do nothing 
without unity. Let us stand by one another; 
let us act as members of a common body, and let 
us never forget that we are members, above 
all, of the University of Chicago. And this im- 
plies, in the second place, a loyalty on the part 
of each one of us which will make him cheer- 
fully ready to give of his time, of his efforts, of 
whatever is needed to make the institution what 
it should be. It is by the sacrifice of time and 
thought and work that great things are accom- 
plished in the world. The University can be 
maintained and extended ; its life can be kept 
strong and vigorous and glowing through the 
years that are to come only by all of us putting 
in together our best efforts, our knowledge 
our life, to that end. 


Dean of the Divinity School 

Not many of the students whom I address 
this morning, and not all of the teaching staff, 
are familiar with the circumstances under which 
this University began its career, and under 
which the President consented to assume the 
headship. Those who are familiar with this 
early history, into the details of which I need 
not here enter, can well understand the grounds 

of our loyalty to the University in general, and 
to our departed leader in particular. Before 
the doors of the institution were opened we 
were pledged in advance to the support of the 
main outlines of the policy which has since 
been carried out. We have never had occasion 
to regret these initial steps, and subsequent 
events have abundantly confirmed the wisdom 
of our decision. 

Besides the general compact into which we 
entered with the President at the beginning and 
on the basis of which he accepted the responsi- 
bilities of leadership, there are peculiar cir-. 
cumstances in our situation as a school of theol- 
ogy which bind us in loyalty to the larger 
scheme of education which is here represented, 
and to him whose fertile brain conceived and 
created it. Our position is such, chiefly by 
virtue of our connection with the University, 
that we enjoy a liberty both as regards the form 
and the substance of the clerical discipline 
which is enjoyed by scarcely any other seminary 
in the land. Encouraged by the President we 
have striven to make wise use of this liberty. 
In our sphere we have addressed ourselves to 
the solution of many delicate and, as we be- 
lieve, vitally important problems which confront 
the modem religious world. Some of these 
problems we think we have solved to the satis- 
faction of the more intelligent members of the 
various Christian communions ; others are yet 
in process of solution. 

It is our conviction that incalculable benefit 
will accrue to the Christian world by the study 
of theological science in the reverent, truth- 
loving spirit, and by the accurate and painstak- 
ing method that obtains in other divisions of the 
University. It is by virtue of our organic 
relations with these other colleges and schools 
and of our participation in the scholarly, scien- 
tific, and progressive spirit of our lamented 
President that it is made possible to us to con- 
tribute somewhat to the correcting and clarify- 



ing of current religious conceptions. In time 
to come, as in time past, we shall evince our 
loyalty to the established traditions of this school 
of learning by pursuing steadily and intelligent- 
ly the path marked out for us by the' one toward 
whom our thoughts are turned today, whose 
memory we shall always cherish and whose 
inspiring example we shall strive to follow. 


Of the Department of English 

Of the great projects of President Harper 
the Law School is among the latest realized. 
But from its opening day it has felt itself, and 
I think has been felt, to be an integral part of 
our University. We did not need this com- 
munity of sorrow to bring us all into fellowship. 
We have from the very first been knit into 
a common life. That this has been so, that 
this feeling of ultimate participation has been 
ours, is due in large part to the far-sighted pol- 
icy of our dead leader. In his great decennial re- 
port, in speaking of the Law School, then about 
to be founded, he laid down three principles as 
fundamental in its building. The very first of 
these was that it should form "an organic part 
of the University, making contributions to the 
University life and at the same time imbibing 
the spirit and purpose of that life." The history 
of the last four years has proved these words 

But even more than to this wise planning 
our participation in the spirit of the University 
has been due to the influence of the President's 
personality, penetrating this as every relation 
of the University life. Many of us now in the 
Law School had in our college days learned to 
know and honor President Harper. All of us, 
wherever our undergraduate years were spent, 
have come to recognize in his life the embodi- 
ment of an ideal which seems peculiarly appro- 
priate for men who will practice the profession 

of law. Like the President's, our lives must 
largely be spent in tasks executive, tasks which 
call for the exercise of those abilities which he 
so conspicuously displayed as head of our great 
institution. His versatility, his inventiveness, 
his ability in referring daily varying problems 
to underlying principles, the promptness of his 
decision, the inerrancy of his judgment — how 
readily and keenly we covet these qualities for 
our tasks. But we will do well to remember 
that basal to the President's executive abilities 
was that profound scholarship which was to 
him a source not only of solace but of strength 
in the thickest press of the most practical affairs. 
Even more must we remember that that scholar- 
ship and that executive ability were ennobled 
by generous and unselfish devotion of them to 
the public good. 

Not the success granted to the President's 
abilities, splendid as that success was, but the 
cause to which those abilities were consecrated — 
this it is that gives meaning and grandeur to the 
President's career. If we, to the measure of our 
powers, devote ourselves as unselfishly as he 
to public service ; if as lawyers we conceive 
ourselves as ministers of justice, as he loved to 
think of himself as a priest of education, our 
work will be a tribute, of the kind he would 
most prize, to the University to which we owe 
so much — the University which he loved so 
dearly, and which owes so much to him. 



Of the Class of 1901 

General Secretary of the Alumni Association 

The University of Chicago is to all of us to- 
day a sad and lonesome place. To think of our 
Alma Mater without our President is almost 
impossible. These floral offerings, these flags 
at half-mast in our city, these memorial services 
all over the land, these tributes from men at 
home and abroad, all testify to the fact that one 



who was to us an elder brother and a help- 
ful friend was to the world at large a man of 
influence and mighty power. 

It is not for me to speak of our President as 
a scholar, an educator, an executive, or as a 
religious leader. To me is given a humbler and 
yet a more congenial task. I come this morning 
to speak briefly of President Harper from the 
standpoint of those who have shared the in- 
spiration of his life through this great institu- 
tion. It matters not whether we knew him in- 
timately or not. No man or woman who has 
entered the halls of the University during these 
fifteen years but has felt in some way the touch 
of his life. How deeply he was interested in 
all our student activities, how concerned he was 
for all who have gone out from among us, only 
his absence will reveal. For some of us his 
friendship was one of the choicest privileges 
of our college days, and to us his death comes 
as a bitter, a personal loss. On behalf of all 
the alumni and the older members of this stu- 
dent body I come to lay a tribute on the bier of 
our departed leader. 

There has been a tendency on the part of 
some to speak of our institution as "The Uni- 
versity," to describe it as a material thing. 
Many have told of the extent of its campus, the 
amount of its endowment, the number of its 
students. With the loss of the President, what 
this University is and what it stands for has 
been revealed as it could have been revealed in 
no other way. We have begun to see how truly 
this was "His University ;"and what a monu- 
ment it is — not these buildings of brick and 
stone, not this wide-spreading campus, but this 
institution, a vital force in America's future, a 
life-giving power for the centuries. 

I bring to you this morning a higher concep- 
tion than either of these, a conception which 
I believe our President would wish to have em- 
phasized by anyone who presumed to speak for 
the alumni at a gathering like this. This 

is "The University," it is "His University," 
but in a truer and deeper sense it is "Our 
University" — his and ours. The highest 
privilege that has been granted us in this 
decade and a half has been the opportunity 
of being co-laborers with him in building up 
this institution of learning. The Trustees have 
had a part, the Faculty have had a part, and we 
have had a part in molding this life. We have 
shared in his work, his achievements, his am- 
bitions, his friendship. 

Our thoughts are, therefore, toward the fu- 
ture, not the past. He would have it so. 
In these last days he has thought not of 
what has been accomplished but what will 
be brought about in the years to come. 
As he lay dying on our beautiful Midway and 
looked out over the beginnings — for they are 
only the beginnings of this institution — he pic- 
tured the University a hundred years hence. 
And then he closed his eyes in the firm belief 
that others would carry on the work he had be- 
gun. He has gone ; the work remains. He has 
laid the foundation ; ours is the task of building 

The Faculty and the Trustees will continue 
his policy in the administration of this institu- 
tion. Upon the alumni and students of the Uni- 
versity is laid as high and holy a task. It is 
for us to exemplify in the world of business 
and law and politics and education and relig- 
ion those qualities of character which made our 
President what he was. If we can do our 
work with that open-mindedness which was ever 
ready to accept truth from whatever source it 
came, with that optimism which made him be- 
lieve in the future of the University and in the 
future of every man and woman who has re- 
ceived her training, and with that sublime cour- 
age which made him live patiently and heroic- 
ally a year after the death warrant had been 
read to him — then shall we pay in some slight 



way the debt we owe to this our dear Alma 
Mater — his University and ours. 

Our friend, our President has left us a noble 
heritage. Life with its many problems is upon 
us. He still lives in our lives, our ideals, and 
our ambitions. Of such a life Longfellow has 
written : 

Death takes us by surprise 

And stays our hurrying feet; 
The great design unfinished lies, 

Our lives are incomplete. 

But in the dark unknown 

Perfect their circles seem. 
Even as a bridge's arch of stone 

Is rounded in the stream. 

Alike are life and death. 

When life in death survives, 
And the uninterrupted breath 

Inspires a thousand lives. 

Were a star quenched on high. 

For ages would its light. 
Still traveling downward from the sky. 

Shine on our mortal sight. 

So when a great man dies. 

For years beyond our ken, 
The light he leaves behind him lies 

Upon the paths of men. 



The President of our University has passed 
from among us. The last rites have been cel- 
ebrated, and as we are about to take up our 
work again as members of the University which 
he projected, created, fostered, and adminis- 
tered, and to which, it may be truly said, he 
gave his life blood, we are gathered here to pay 
him tribute. The spirit of this occasion would 
make it more accurate, no doubt, to say that we 
are gathered to pledge him tribute, rather than 
to pay it. The more we ponder on the life 
'^f our dead benefactor the more vividly we re- 

alize that anything approaching an adequate 
tribute from us must consist of deeds, not of 
words ; of a discharge of duty in the acts of 
years, and not of mere expressions of senti- 
ment. It has been fitting during the past days 
of sorrow to indicate, by reverent words, the 
boundless love and deep admiration we had for 
him, but it is more highly fitting now to resolve 
that we will lay firm hold upon the wonderful, 
yet surprisingly simple, lessons of his life. It 
will not be sufficient merely to acknowledge 
these lessons, and this day will be of little im- 
port unless it marks a determination to heed 
them and to apply them to our conduct hence- 

To the students of the L^niversity of Chicago 
the life of President Harper ought to prove a 
most powerful influence in leading us to better 
and higher things, and an inspiration for at- 
tainment such as we have never known in our 
lives up to this time. He has clearly enunciated 
his principles, and has abundantly applied and 
interpreted them in his acts. His virtues were 
the simple ones, the ones most worthy of emula- 
tion. His precepts are concrete, and meet one 
another in the appealing completeness and per- 
fect harmony of his thought. 

In his almost immeasurable ambition to ad- 
vance the best interests of his fellow man. Pres- 
ident Harper conceived and brought into exist- 
ence the institution of which we are an organic 
part. In the direction of its affairs he was 
guided by his lofty ideals. To the accomplish- 
ment of its ends he marvelously devoted his 
prodigious energies. He would have it the 
most potent organism for the advancement of 
civilization that mankind has known. He would 
have it not merely an institution of learning, but 
he would have it a maker of men. And when 
he closed his eyes for the last time he was happy, 
for he felt assured that his plans would reach 
their consummation. 

If, therefore, we would render to our Presi- 



dent a tribute at all consistent with what he has 
done and desired to do for us, we will at least 
give our reasonable service toward making the 
University what he wished it to be. We will 
contribute our best effort toward establishing 
unity and harmony in our university life. To 
the work that we have in hand we will give the 
best that is within us. We will pledge to our 
University our unswerving and undying alle- 
giance and loyal support, and in so doing we 
shall pledge our highest tribute to the Univer- 
sity's creator. 



It was not within the plans of Providence 
that the present members of the Junior Colleges 
should have the privilege of coming into that 
intimate association with President Harper 
which the members of the Faculty and the older 
students have enjoyed. Pain and disease have 
kept him from us. Yet to have been a member 
of this institution during his administration is 
a privilege which all of us shall cherish all 
our lives. Even though during the past year 
and a half h^ could not be present at many of 
our meetings, we have continually felt the in- 
fluence of his wonderful personality — his ener- 
gy, his broad-mindedness, and his spirituality. 

We owe him a great debt. We cannot repay 
it all, but what we can we must. His work, 
great as it is, was but the beginning of the 
work he set out to do. Now he is gone from us. 
His years of active service have ended. But 
cannot we aid in carrying out his plans? That 
is the question, fellow students, which you and 
I must answer. He has sacrificed his life to 
give to the world this University. Then upon 
us, his beneficiaries, rests part of the responsi- 
bility of fulfilling his hopes. The work which 
time made him leave undone we must aid in 
finishing. We have come here from all parts 
of the world. It is our dutv to extend each to 

our own locality those truths which we have 
learned here, and thus spread abroad the spirit 
of this University. Externally the institution 
is judged largely by ourselves, its product, and 
unless we endeavor truly to reach those stand- 
ards which our President himself has set, we 
are not loyal to the University. 

We are here for a purpose— to gain materia] 
knowledge, to learn more of the world and its 
people, and if we are truly loyal we will make 
thoroughness the keynote of all these endeavors. 
Let us keep continually in our minds that prin- 
ciple of our President, "Honor above all things," 
whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, 
or in our relations with one another. These 
things we can do in honor of our beloved Pres- 
ident. Let us, then, honor him not only in. 
tributes of bronze and marble, but also in deeds- 
that will bring good and honor to his — our — 
University. For he labored not that this should' 
be a monument of mere buildings, but that there 
should result a monument of flesh and blood — 
true men and true women. 

If we would honor his name, let us honor the 
name of the University for which it is a syn- 
onym. If we would be loyal to him, let us be 
loyal to the University for which he gave his- 
life. This is the tribute he would have us pay. 
And, above all, let us not forget that all that 
was vital in his wonderful character still lives, 
and will continue to be a source of inspiration 
to every seeker after truth and wisdom. Pres- 
ident Harper's hope was that he might inspire 
his students to do the good, the noble, and the 
best that is in them, and to the attainment of 
this desire we pledge our thoughts, our hearts^ 
and our lives. 



Our President is gone; our first and surely 
our greatest — for who, following in the paths 



that he has prepared, can ever surpass him? — 
has come among us, has fulfilled his mission, 
and has departed again from whence he came. 
Our University and our country are poorer, 
but heaven is infinitely richer! We are met 
this morning in this beautiful hall of his build- 
ing to give some expression to the love and 
sorrow pent up in the heart of every one of us. 

And how can we do this ? How can we show 
our sense of the privilege granted us in that 
we have known him? Years hence, men shall 
set foot upon this campus and shall still feel 
the touch of a mighty personality, the presence 
of a great character. But they can never know 
him as we have known him. Around us stands 
the "City Gray" which he gave his life in build- 
ing. What more splendid monument could 
stand for the life of any man! 

Yet greater, even, more far-reaching and en- 

during, is the monument of love reared in the 
heart of every one of his students. These gray 
walls may crumble and decay and the whole 
University be changed, but the stamp of his 
life upon ours can never fade. And we can 
make this ever brighter by dedicating our lives 
to those same noble principles and ideals that 
guided his. 

Lives of great men are the inheritance of 
a nation. What a priceless inheritance is given 
this University in the life of our President. 
And it is for us to guard his memory, and to 
hand down that inheritance, so that coming gen- 
erations can say with us: 

Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven 

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on our very heart 

Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given 

And shall not soon depart. 





New Haven, Conn., February i6, 1891. 
Mr. E. A. Biizzell, Chicago, III. 

My dear Sir: Your kind invitation to be 
present at the banquet and reunion of the 
Alumni Association of the University of Chi- 
cago has been received. It is a source of sincere 
regret that previous engagements forbid my 
acceptance of the same. I should have deemed 
it a most fortunate circumstance if I could 
have joined you on this occasion. 

My personal relations with so many of the 
alumni of the old institution make me feel 
sometimes as if I were one of them, and I 
suppose that my interest in the new University 
of Chicago draws me all the more closely to the 
alumni of the old University. I wish I could 
describe the extreme satisfaction it gave me 
as a member of the Board of Trustees, to vote 
for the resolutions which are to be read to you 
at this meeting, adopting all graduates of the 
old University as alumni of the new, and re- 
newing the degrees conferred upon them. This 
action of the new Board shows, I am confident, 
its hearty interest in the past and all that was 
connected with that past. We trust that the 
feeling of interest may be reciprocated and that 
you will pledge your loyalty to the new insti- 
tution as your alma mater. 

No harm will be done, I am sure, in saying 
to you that my formal acceptance of the presi- 


dency of the University of Chicago is in the 
hands of the Secretary of the Board of Trus- 
tees, and that my face is turned toward Chicago. 
It has been a long struggle with me to decide 
this question, but it is at last decided and I 
believe decided .rightly. May I not hope that 
the alumni of the old institution, one and all, 
will join hands with me in the effort to build 
in Chicago a university of which not only 
Chicago but America shall be proud? The 
history of the old University in spite of its 
misfortunes is to me evidence that such a thing 
is possible. The new interest aroused in the 
work, wdthin the city and abroad, convinces 
me beyond a doubt that if harmony prevails and 
God assists, the result within ten years will 
surpass all our expectations. Again I say, 
shall we not join hands, the old and the new, 
and, forgetting that there has been a break of 
five years, push forward with all possible zeal. 

Hoping that in due time I may become per- 
sonally acquainted with every alumnus of the 
old University, I remain 

Yours very sincerely, 
(Signed) William R. Harper. 

N.B. — ^At such a time who can forget our 
old friend, Professor Olson. Oh, that he were 
here to see what is being done and to take part 
in the new work. 

^ Held in the Leon Mandel Assembly Hall on 
Sunday, January 28, 1906. Mr. William Otis Wil- 
son, Ph.B., of the class of 1897, presided. Judge 
Frederick A. Smith, of the class of 1866, made the 
opening address. The letter from President Harper 
to Mr. Edgar A. Buzzell, A. B., of the class of 1886, 
secretary of the Alumni Association of the old Uni- 
versity of Chicago, was read by Mr. Arthur Eugene 
Eestor, A. B., of the class of 1901, general secretary 
of the Alumni Association of the University. 


Of the Class of 1897 

Ours is the loss of a great family. Our 
President, the head of our family, has been 
taken, and we are gathered to honor his mem- 
ory. Our bereavement is a great personal 
sorrow as well as a realization of the loss of 
our University, our city, and our nation. 

It is this personal sorrow of which I wish to 
speak especially. Knowing that each of us 



zealously guards a vivid memory of our 
President's personality, knowing how many of 
us have experienced his personal interest and 
have felt his kindly influence, I feel that it is 
especially fitting in our gathering today to 
express to one another our appreciation of a 
personal love and to realize mutually that we 
have lost one who took a deep personal interest 
in all of us. 

In the purpose of recalling such a personality 
I may well hesitate to find words which will 
be in entire sympathy with your memories. It 
is just this personal relationship with our 
President which is our most precious memory 
and which is most difficult to describe. We 
all have experienced his interest and kindness, 
especially, perhaps, those of us who were here 
in the first years of the University. As the 
years passed the demands upon the President's 
energy and time became more and more in- 
sistent, but we were constantly made aware of 
his unfailing solicitude both for the students 
and the alumni. 

We are blessed with the memory of a kindly, 
courteous gentleman, overburdened with cares 
and duties, who still always found time for an 
interest in each of the students of the Univer- 
sity and an effort to come into personal contact 
with them. 

We all know how cordial a welcome was 
assured us when we went to him, whether in 
the service of the University or for our personal 
needs. We know what a ready response met 
our advances. We remember how quick he 
was to see an injustice, and to find a remedy ; 
how any unfairness aroused his instant indig- 

We recall the weekly meetings with the 
graduating class, the President's earnest talk, 
the confidence shown in explaining the plans 
and policy of the University, and the kind 
questions and suggestions as to what should 
follow the University life. It is difficult to 

realize that the head of a great university took 
so much pains to become our friend and adviser. 
As we responded then, so we grieve now. 
And it was in those well remembered moments 
when the relationship of president to student 
had faded into that of friend and counselor, 
that we could best understand his indomitable 
courage, his kindly nature, and the ability to 
make us all feel his enthusiasm as an irresistible 

While we as alumni may recognize, with 
others, our President's greatness as a scholar, 
as a teacher, as an organizer, and as a great 
national force, and feel an inexpressible pride 
and thankfulness in the magnitude of his ac- 
complishment, we cannot fail to express our 
love for the man himself and to acknowledge 
our privilege in having been permitted to live 
in the atmosphere of his faith and enthusiasm. 

We yield to no one in pride in his career ; 
we know what wonderful plans have been 
carried to accomplishment ; we realize as fully 
as may be the loss which has come to our Uni- 
versity and the cause of education ; but in this 
meeting today we especially mourn the loss of 
our teacher and friend. 

It is my wish to express as earnestly as I 
may, for you all and for myself, our reverence 
for our President's memory and our sense of 
personal bereavement. 


Of the Class of 1896 

If Dr. Harper did not offer, each morning, 
the prayer of Stevenson, he lived it throughout 
every da}'. "Give us to go blithely about our 
business. Help us to play the man. Help us 
to perform the petty round of irritating con- 
cerns and duties with laughter and kind 
faces." In the early days of the University, 
Dr. Harper was everywhere and to everyone an 
inspiration. If he worried, he never showed his 



worry to his students. When the clouds hung 
close to the earth and despondency came to 
every heart, he with his kindly, beaming face 
threw sunshine into our lives and gave us 
strength to go on with our work. He was 

One who never turned his back, but marched breast 

forward ; 
Never doubted clouds would break; 
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong 

would triumph ; 
Held we fall to rise; are baffled to fight better. 

Sleep to wake. 

That courage helped us to hold up our 
heads and go forward, to lift every obstacle 
from the road and to smile as we went about 
our work. 

Dr. Harper was zealous in helping his stu- 
dents to lay well the foundations for the 
traditions of the University. His attendance 
at the volunteer activities of the men was con- 
stant and cheering. He was a good listener. 
The interest that his intense attention revealed 
was an inspiration to a speaker and it brought 
out the best that there was in the man. Where 
he found the time to attend our meetings, we 
could not imagine. He was there and all there, 
not indifferent or listless but the most eager to 
catch every word and to appreciate every 

He had a serious concern for the fair fame 
of the University. A certain man, more notor- 
ious than famous, was asked to preside at one 
of our intercollegiate debates. When our 
President heard of it, he called in the executive 
committee of the Oratorical Association and in 
his quiet, kindly, tactful way advised us to 
change our plans, giving as his reason that no 
man honored the University by appearing in 
any of its activities, but that the University 
honored him ; and therefore, he knew, if we 
looked at the question in his light, that ar- 
rangements could be made to cancel the 
engagement. Of course, he was right. The 

men thought that some cheap advertising 
could be given the University by having our 
notorious chairman talked about, but Dr. Har- 
per's timely and wise counsel kept us from 
making the serious blunder. He kept his hand 
on the helm and steered his students clear of 
many a reef. 

In the early days, we saw more of our 
President and had the rich privilege of attend- 
ing his classes. He stamped every student 
who listened to him with the deep conviction 
that here was a man who lived what he taught. 
His eyes were not iixed close to a manuscript, 
but full upon his class. As he unfolded the 
interpretation of the prophecies in the Old 
Testament concerning the Christ, his eyes 
flashed full with light and his voice trembled 
with intense conviction. What an impression 
the evolution of the prophetic idea made upon 
us ! From the germ thought that the seed of 
the woman should bruise the serpent's head 
to the "man of sorrows acquainted with grief," 
we were led into a revelation of a stronger, 
more wonderful Christ. Perhaps when our 
beloved President, in his last days lay waiting 
for the personal, perfect appearance of the 
.Son of God, he, with Tennyson, could 
murmur : 

Sunset and evening star. 

And one clear call for me! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar. 

When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam. 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark ! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell. 

When I embark; 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crost the bar. 



He knew the Christ foretold in the Old 
Testament; he walked with Him in fancy 
through the streets of Jerusalem and along the 
roads of Judea and sat with Him by Galilee; 
he knew him by personal experience and con- 
fided to Him his plans and hopes. But now he 
has a clearer vision, for, "when He shall appear, 
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as 
He is." 

Mr. Bond has already spoken to you of the 
weekly meetings between the President and his 
Senior class. Weary at the week's end, he 
met us and told of his experiences in building 
up the University. The little secrets of the 
business that sapped his vitality, the trials that 
he had with men, his reverses and his victories 
— he told us all ; and being taken into the con- 
fidence of the master builder we realized that 
we were part and parcel of the University that 
was soon to be our alma mater, and that our 
allegiance to her because of these conferences 
would be stronger and fuller. 

Fellow alumni: our revered President has 
left us a rich legacy. He gave us, not these 
acres, not these buildings, not instruction, not 
culture, but himself. He is the Little Father of 
our Higher Life. And to thee, Alma Mater, 
we shall owe a more loyal devotion because of 
his passing into thy trees, and walls, because 
of his entering into the web and the woof of 
thy life. You may bury his body here in the 
centre of the campus "where the sound of those 
he wrought for, and the feet of those he fought 
for echo round his bones forevermore," but his 
life comes into full power in the hearts and lives 
of the men and women whom he fed and led. 
We, his children of the outer circle, offer our 
heartfelt devotion and sympathy to his family, 
the inner circle of his life; and with them we 
look up and pray: 

We have but faith : we cannot know ; 

For knowledge is of things we see ; 

And yet we trust it comes from thee, 
A beam in darkness : let it grow. 


Of the Class of 1904 

We are gathered here today in the sunset 
glory of a master life. In the sacred hush that 
covers all, we pause to see not alone the glories 
of the sunset, but the brightness of the noontime 
of his life. Let us recall the elements in his life 
to which we now pay tribute. 

Scholarship, in the philosopher's role, has 
claimed him for its guild, and laid its laurel on 
his bier. As a scholar, Dr. Harper held an un- 
disputed place, and we cannot but be thrilled 
with admiration for his soldierly devotion to this 
line of his work, even in his last hard days. 

Theology has claimed him as a member of 
its cult, and brought its offering. As a preacher, 
Dr. Harper was a world-wide champion of 
truth and right. He was one of those men who 
taught and lived the same high principles of life. 
When we think of the life he lived and of the 
influence it must have exerted, we are reminded 
of the words of Lowell : 

Be noble! And the nobleness that lies 
In others, sleeping, but never dead. 
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own. 

Education has numbered him among its 
brotherhood, and has paid its tribute. In this 
realm. Dr. Harper was one of the world's path- 
finders. This great university stands as a monu- 
ment to the fact that he was ever inspired by the 
ruling idea that the broadest education alone 
can give the greatest potency to a man's possi- 

Organization has recognized him as a master, 
and has paid its highest respects. The unique 
place which Dr. Harper will always hold in the 
memory of this people will, perhaps, be due 
more than to anything else to his wonderful gift 
of achievement. To him was given the oppor- 
tunity to accomplish great results, but oppor- 
tunity alone could have accomplished but little 
had it not been joined with the greatest effici- 
ency. The immensity of his plans continually 



amazed us all. He was a man with a new hori- 
zon every week. 

But today we do not bring tribute to Dr. Har- 
per as a scholar, nor as a theologian, nor as a 
professor, nor as an organizer. We come to 
pay our tribute to him as a man and a friend. 

One of the things which we all remember so 
well about Dr. Harper was his graciousness of 
manner, and the cordiality and the personal ele- 
ment in his handshake. Helen Kellar, in her 
Story of My Life, says: "The touch of one 
hand may seem an impertinence, while that of 
another is like a benediction. I have met people 
so empty of joy that, when I clasped their frosty 
finger tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands 
with a northeast storm. Others there are whose 
fingers have sunbeams in them; their grasp 
warms my heart." 

The one element in his character which 
of all impressed everyone who knew Dr. Har- 
per, everyone who met him, everyone who heard 
him speak, was his absolute sincerity ; for it was 
not a surface sincerity, but the very essence of 
his nature, the soil out of which grew his sim- 
plicity, his earnestness, and his consecration. 

When we realize that there has passed out 
from among us a life so good, so strong, so 
true, our consolation must come in the belief 
in the immortality of influence. Let me quote 
the words of another: "The law of the con- 
servation of energy is found in the spiritual as 
well as in the material universe. No true 
minstrel ever swept the strings of poesy in 
vain. The harpist and the harp may perish, 
but the song once sung pulsates forever. No 
true artist ever dies. The marble may crumble, 
the pillar may totter, the dome collapse, and the 
light fade from the canvas ; but the ideas thus 
conceived and imaged in color, or imprisoned 
in marble, entering the world's heart, become a 
live force, which shall operate even when this 
old planet reels in her orbit." 

The nation today puts another headstone on 

the burying ground of fame; the University 
mourns the loss of the man who had so large a 
part in its creation ; we, all of us, grieve over the 
death of a friend, but, through it all, eternity 
draws nearer. 

Dr. Harper has left us all a message ; his Hfe 
was his message. His life was an epistle writ- 
ten in language so clear and strong that it could 
not be misunderstood. 

I am going to close with the words of Dr. 
Harper himself — words which he once used at 
the funeral of my brother. "Every life is a 
message sent directly from heaven for those 
with whom it is to come into contact. The di- 
vine hand prepares the message, and it is al- 
ways complete, for no message from God ever 
stops in the middle of a sentence. When the 
message has been delivered, there is nothing 
more for the life to do and, rightly, its end 
comes. As time passes, the message will trans- 
form itself into a poem, more and more beauti- 
ful, more and more perfect, a precious memory 
to be guarded and cherished in loving hearts." 


Of the Class of 1879 

The life and work of a truly great man fasci- 
nate us. Every word, habit, act, and desire is 
scanned and debated. Most great men we know 
could have been great in many ways ; Dr. Har- 
per would have been a man of mark in any line 
of activity he had chosen. That he did not de- 
vote his energy to building up a vast fortune, to 
organizing a great commerical enterprise — yes, 
even to the accomplishment of his heart's desire, 
the work of pure scholarship — is a matter of 
sincerest congratulation for us and for the 
great world. 

To organize an army, to control political 
conditions, or to explore unknown continents 
demands intellect and will and power of high 
order, but nowhere, in no department of human 



endeavor, is there more need of consummate 
talent, of genius, than in the educational ad- 
vancement of the race. 

To be a famous scholar, an authority in some 
department of knowledge, to be the president of 
a university, or to have succeeded in any one 
of the many separate lines so happily combined 
in President Harper's experience, would satisfy 
most men. But his vitality was so abundant, his 
intellect so powerful, his will so masterful, his 
sympathies so profound, his intuition so sensi- 
tive, that he could concentrate his whole intel- 
lectual life upon the phase of life and work then 
claiming his attention, so that he made it wholly 
his own — he understood, he conquered all dif- 
ficulties, and illumined the subject whether it 
were an obscure text, a plan for a building, or 
an educational policy. Much has been written 
and said in praise of his scholarship, his ability 
as an organizer, and his influence over men, but 
nowhere did he show his broad view of educa- 
tion, his catholicity and enthusiasm, to a greater 
degree than in his interest in elementary and 
secondary education — in the time and study we 
devoted to the understanding of conditions, and 
to what he considered the remedies and im- 
provements necessary and desirable. 

He early saw that if the University was to 
do the best work for men and women, fhe edu- 
cation of pupils in the secondary schools, high 
schools and academies, was of vital importance. 
The conferences between the faculties of these 
schools and the University faculties were of 
far reaching influence. He grew more and 
more democratic. His work as a member of 
the Board of Education and chairman of the 
Educational Commission appointed by Mayor 
Harrison was most important. His advocacy 
of vacation schools, of the parental schools, of 
the continuous sessions of night schools, of 
playgrounds, of all kinds of handwork which 
experience should prove valuable, of the kinder- 
gartens, gymnasiums, school libraries, the use 

of public school buildings as social centers, and 
of the education of adults engaged in daily work 
through university extension lectures and cor- 
lesppndence, all proved his wide sympathies 
and democratic tendencies. 

"Where there is no vision the people perish." 
Dr. Harper had the vision of the prophet, the 
poet, and the artist — ^visions of beauty and ideals 
of excellence constantly beckoned him on. 
Great as were his accomplishments, his imagina- 
tion led him to form greater ideals. His influ- 
ence on all schools, on all teachers, on the public 
generally, is immeasurable. Everywhere his 
name stands for initiative, for application, for 
scholarship, for aspiration, for character. He 
leaves the greatest legacy to the world whose 
influence has been to open, to the individual, 
avenues for fuller expression, for richer life. I 
shall never forget the last time I talked with Dr. 
Harper — at Asbury Park at the meeting of the 
National Educational Association last July. A 
great power he had been for years in all their 
councils ; he had been mentioned by every one 
with tender regret and profound admiration 
for the bravery he had shown. All unexpect- 
edly he appeared at the meeting of the Illinois 
delegation. The greetings were tremulous on 
our part, but he cheered us all with assurances 
of returning strength. 

The scene was one that clings to the memory, 
for we knew that great as was his scholarship, 
unique as was his power to organize and exe- 
cute, ripe as was his experience, higher than 
these, the gift of enthusiasm, the power to en- 
dure, the radiance of the spirit so evident in him 
that day were the qualities that made the man 
we loved. How beautiful it is to believe that all 
these immortal qualities have but moved on to 
greater opportunity, to richer fruition ! His in- 
fluence and teachings here depend much upon 
us. How are we to prove ourselves the stronger 
and abler for his life and lessons ? By developing 
to the fullest every -power for good within our 



own natures and by giving to all we meet the 
freedom and power to be and to do ; never set- 
ting a limit to the growth of the spirit, using 
our strength as he used his, ungrudgingly, in 
furthering educational ends which we deem 

His was a policy like fate 

That shapes today for future hours; 

The sovran foresight his to draw 

From crude events their settled law — 

To learn the soul and turn the weight 

Of human passions into powers. 

His was the mathematic might 

That moulds results from men and things ; 

The eye that pierces at a glance, 

The will that wields all circumstance. 

The starhke soul of force and light 

That moves eterne on tireless wings. 


Professor of Homhetics in the Divinity School 

We cannot fail to be impressed by the dif- 
ference between our gathering today and that 
occasion, which none of us who were present 
will ever forget, in this same room a fortnight 
ago. Then the sense of sorrow was struggling 
with the sense of victory. We have not for- 
gotten our sorrow, but victory is victor. It is 
not the mere healing of time. It is the cer- 
tainty that came to the disciples of Jesus — "He 
is not here ; he is risen !" 

Today, therefore, we are not come to 
mourn, but to give thanks that God gave to us 
a great leader. Lovingly, we are met to re- 
count v/hat he was to us ; trustingly, we rec- 
ognize that he has been called to higher service. 

It is the grateful task of one who was in 
nearly all the President's classes in the first 
two years of the University to speak of him as 
a teacher. 

It may not be generally recognized, but it is 
unquestionably a fact, that the very highest 
qualities of a teacher can only be brought into 
exercise in the teacher of religion. There are 

certain important characteristics that are re- 
quired in any great teacher. It needs not to 
say that Dr. Harper possessed these in a super- 
eminent degree. Profound, accurate, and ever 
widening scholarship, love of learning, love of 
men, and love that men shall learn, a recogni- 
tion of truth as more precious than rubies and 
more to be desired than fine gold, a longing to 
share the truth with all others, tact and stimu- 
lus and leadership — all these qualities were his 
and in them all among teachers he was facile 
princeps. But more than all was a fine quality 
of sympathy in the teaching of a subject which 
demands that quality above all else. 

The subjects of divinity share with all 
sciences the common difficulties. Every teacher 
must find his student on his lower intellectual 
level. He must lead him to an understanding 
of processes and methods. The scientific and 
historical point of view the student only 
reaches under a master's guidance. But the 
teaching of the Bible and the subjects of the 
christian religion presents a wholly unique dif- 
ficulty. The student is not only ignorant, un- 
trained, immature, rude of grasp, as in any 
sphere of learning, but he is fortified in pre- 
judice. I wish that word could be used without 
offense. I mean simply that the student has 
prejudged the results of his study. All the 
sanctity of parental instruction, all the influ- 
ences of the teaching of his church, that funda- 
mental basis of eternal and inevitable truth, as 
he conceives it, upon which the whole strticture 
of his thinking is reared, have furnished him 
before entering the classroom of the biblical in- 
structor a set of certain opinions which he would 
change at his peril, nay, which it may be almost 
a sacrilege to re-examine. Therein lies the del- 
icate and difficult task of the teacher of relig- 
ion. If it is not quite so delicate nor so diffi- 
cult as it was twenty, fifteen, or a dozen years 
ago, the difference is largely due to the influ- 
ence of Dr. Harper. 



His quality as a teacher appeared when he 
met a class in the study of the Old Testament 
prophets. In many respects the study is parallel 
with that of the Attic orators. There is a dead 
language which, through the process of earnest 
study, must live. There is an old history into 
which the student must transport himself un- 
til the burning words of the orator have the fire 
and passion of contemporary speech. There 
are critical, textual, literary problems which 
must be solved by closest investigation. He must 
be a master who will lead a student really to ap- 
preciate Demosthenes or Isaiah. But there is 
this difference. The Greek student is a classi- 
cist, the Hebrew student is a preacher. The 
primary, practical, immediate question with the 
student of the Hebrew prophets is, what kind 
of a gospel shall he have to preach to the twen- 
tieth century. He had a gospel before he began 
to study, and it was all bound up with certain 
conceptions of the Testament religion. It was 
dependent on a certain view of what the dreams 
and ideals of the prophets meant. The change 
of a tense meant the change of a theology. 
Therein lay the problem of the earnest teacher 
of the Bible. 

I do not speak theoretically. I knew a lad 
brought up after the straitest sect of the earn- 
est, pious, devoted literalists. He had passed 
through college and come into the modern world 
of thinking upon all subjects save religion. As 
some men with marvelous ingenuity keep asun- 
der religion and business, so he held the modern 
world. He wished they would stop explora- 
tions in Babylonia. One never could tell what 
might be dug up that would be disquieting and 
would give aid and comfort to the enemies of 
the faith. He was going to be a minister of the 
gospel. He was intending to preach divine 
truth for the good of men in the modern world. 
And he would have preached it that the seven- 
teenth century might have called him brother. 
He heard a series of discourses, simple, clear 

as the sunlight, profound, suggestive of possi- 
bilities of knowledge all unseen, winning, invit- 
ing, illuminating, bringing the Hebrew prophets 
of twenty-five hundred years ago into relation 
with reality. The young disciple had an inter- 
view with the great master and decided, God 
helping him, and under the leadership of the 
man with whom he utterly disagreed, but in 
whom he inevitably believed, to work the matter 
through to the end. That young man was good 
material for either a bigot or a skeptic. It was 
the fine sympathy, at once an intellectual and 
spiritual sympathy, of the master teacher that 
led him through the twilight of a long investi- 
gation into the sunlight of God's eternal day. 

I have seen biblical teachers smile at the per- 
plexity of students. Never Dr. Harper. To him 
the passage of the mind from traditionalism to 
freedom was a sacred progress. He knew all 
the dangers and the fears and he knew the way 
to victory, and with rare tact and courage led 
us on. Because we felt his sympathy and knew 
that he understood the struggle and brought us 
into it only that he might bring us through it, 
we became his willing disciples and dared to 
think because he dared. Without irreverence I 
may paraphrase a great word. We had not a 
high priest who could not be touched with the 
feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points 
tested like as we were, yet without failure. 
It was that strong assurance that made a 
generation of christian scholars, teachers, and 

Dr. Harper founded a school of thought — not 
the school we see about us, but that whole com- 
pany of men and women throughout the world 
whom he taught to read the old scriptures with 
insight and joy and absolute faith. Insight, for 
it was his mission, gladder than that of his fav- 
orite prophet, to teach men that having eyes 
they should see, and having ears they should 
hear, and having hearts they should understand. 
Joy, as ~-eat moral truths first enunciated in 



Israel, became real and vital for our day and 
generation. Faith, yes faith. It was the teach- 
er's noblest gift to his students. Of course, if 
faith means an unchanged adherence to a set 
of opinions, then the experiences of Dr. Har- 
per's classroom often shattered it. But if faith 
means that there is one God, the same yester- 
day, today, and forever, and that this world is 
God's world, and that men may dare to think 
God's thoughts after him and may reverently 
and earnestly ask questions, and ask them again, 
and ask them again, sure that at the end of any 
earnest path of inquiry they shall never find a 

That right is right, since God is God, 

And right the day will win ; 
To doubt would be disloyalty. 

To falter would be sin — 

if it is faith that the soul rests confident in 
the integrity of the universe, then was our great 
teacher the man of faith, and his disciples fol- 
lowed him. 

Dr. Harper was not the first to teach scien- 
tifically the Old Testament. He was too young 
to be a pioneer in modern religious thinking. 
He was not the only man of his generation who 
believed that it was safe to let the people know 
the truth. He was only one in the extraordinary 
galaxy of biblical scholars that has distin- 
guished the last thirty years. His supreme 
place was that of the teacher, and the remark- 
able advance of biblical and Semitic study in 
America, which he effected, came through his 
ability as a teacher. He spoke today in ten 
thousand pulpits and in ten thousand bible 
classes, even from the lips of men who never 
knew him. And so the teacher lives in the mes- 

sages of other teachers and preachers — mes- 
sages in his own spirit, strong, brave, fair, with 
never a sneer nor a gibe, with no hot argument 
nor noisy stage play ; for he helped us under- 
stand the promise of the Supreme Teacher, "Ye 
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make 
you free." 


The Alumni of the University of Chicago, in 
special memorial service assembled, January 
28, 1906, would testify to the great loss we 
sustain in the death of our President. 

William Rainey Harper has been to us the 
prophet of an educational movement which de- 
manded clear-cut pursuit of fundamental truth. 
Recognizing the many-sidedness of life and the 
unity of all truth, he became a leader of men 
who encouraged research in every department 
of knowledge. He was broad-mmded, earnest, 
brave, and true; comprehensive and clear of 
plan; convincing of presentation; and swift of 
execution. He laid hold on the past of the hu- 
man race, wrought wonderfully in the present, 
and, like a prophet, brought the future before 

Dr. Harper was far more to us than Presi- 
dent. He was our guide, our friend, our elder 
brother. We have worked with him and have 
come to love him. His memory will ever in- 
spire us to make all life greater, more beautiful, 
m.ore abundant. 

With a deep sense of personal loss we extend 
to his bereaved family our heartfelt sympathy. 

^ These resolutions were read by Mr. Allen T. 
Burns, A. B., of the class of 1898. 





President of the College of the City of New York 

The facts which give outhne to this remark- 
able life are these: He was born in 1856 of 
Scotch-Irish ancestry in a small Ohio town ; he 
entered the preparatory department of a small 
college in that same town at the age of eight, 
and was graduated from college when only four- 
teen years old. He worked for three years, 
studying meanwhile privately, and then, enter- 
ing the graduate department of Yale University, 
took his doctorate in Semitic languages at the 
age of nineteen. He was married in the same 
year, and at once began teaching in the South ; 
then he was principal of a preparatory school in 
connection with Denison University, Ohio. In 
1879, when twenty-three years of age, he be- 
came professor of Hebrew in what was then the 
Chicago Baptist Union Theological Seminary 
at Morgan Park, 111. Nine years later he went 
to Yale University as professor of Semitic lan- 
guages, and soon after was made professor of 
biblical literature. In those years he became 
deeply interested in the Chautauqua movement 
of popular education, and was chosen head of 
the Chautauqua College of Liberal Arts. In 
189 1 he went back into the West again, this time 
as president of the University of Chicago and 
its head professor of Semitic languages and 
literatures, and there remained to the day of his 
death, January 10, 1906. During all these years 
William Rainey Harper was continuing his 
study in the field of his early choice, writing 
textbooks and articles, and associating others 
with him in his productive scholarly work. 

These facts, out of the ordinary in them- 
selves, are especially remarkable in their se- 
quence and association only. That a boy born 
in 1856 should in 1864 be entering upon his col- 

' Reprinted, by permission, from the February 
(igo6) number of the Review of Reviews. 

lege preparatory work is most unusual. (The 
average boys of today, whatever the cause may 
be, are but getting fairly under way with their 
reading and writing and arithmetic at eight.) 
That this same boy should be graduated from 
college, competent, as has been reported, to 
make his commencement address in Hebrew, is 
another unusual if not phenomenal fact, — a fact 
which gives rise to further questioning as to 
whether some youths, at least, are not encour- 
aged or required to spend more time than they 
ought in acquiring the disciplines and knowl- 
edges of the college curriculum. 

I do not know what the standards of Muskin- 
gum College, his Alma Mater, were in 1864; 
but, even if its curriculum carried the student 
no farther than the courses of our present 
sophomore year, it yet appears that after two 
years of residence in Yale he was able to gain 
the doctor's degree at an age scarcely above 
that of the average sophomore of today, whose 
immaturity has invited general remark. It is 
interesting to note, in this connection, that in 
the University of Chicago, under the direction 
of this boy grown to man, it has been made 
possible for students to progress to the bache- 
lor's degree in even three years or less from 

The experience of this one Ohio boy has been 
very effective in its influence on what he calls 
an educational fetich, — the four-year college 

It was, doubtless, much easier thirty years 
ago for one who had a special aptitude in lan- 
guages to secure his degree in the phenom- 
enally short time spent by Dr. Harper in win- 
ning his, for language work filled a ver>' large 
part of the curriculum, but one who knows what 
Dr. Harper's wonderful energy was, must be- 




lieve that he would probably have mastered a 
curriculum of sciences in as brief a time, so 
eager was his mind for mastery. I was shocked, 
though I was interested, to know from his own 
lips, soon after the first attack of the fatal dis- 
ease, how thoroughly he had mastered the liter- 
ature of that disease and its treatment. This I 
speak of because I believe it was so indicative 
of the conquering spirit of the man. 

The period of his active work after this phe- 
nomenally early preparation was only thirty 
years, including the first few years of appren- 
ticeship and the year at the end of his life, 
which was as a year of resurrection — a year of 
return to the earth. But the achievement of 
these three decades, begun at an immature age 
and crowned with the glory of the heroic strug- 
gle of the last year, was the achievement of 
three men, and of three extraordinary men. It 
was as if these three men of the same basic char- 
acter, having all much in common and having 
each a sympathy with the others, yet differing in 
their possessing interests and their intellectual 
gifts, were joined together in a loyal and en- 
during union. The great bounding heart was 
common to all. And they all worked together 
always. Only they divided their time among 
the interests of these three giant men. Now it 
was teaching to which he gave himself with the 
strength of three men ; another hour or another 
day it was to study, to the seeking of a scholar ; 
and then the next hour or the next day it was 
the complex and tangled task of the executive 
to which this man of three men's brains set his 
hand. By this co-operation he accomplished 
what three men working independently, though 
of great ability each, could not have done. It 
seems as if nature had here exhibited in human 
life the wisdom of combination and had given 
example of economy in the diversity of interest 
and effort. 

The triple accomplishment of this life has been 
so often in these past few months recited in its 

detail that it cannot be necessary to repeat it 
here. The story is known upon the street as 
well as in classroom and study. It must here 
suffice to say a word out of my own observation 
and affection, of that achievement. 

I have said elsewhere that he was first of all 
a teacher. I have been reading today that one 
who stood nearest to him of all, perhaps, in his 
university work, and who knew perhaps better 
than any one else his achievement as an execu- 
tive, put the teaching man in him first, too. Of 
course, it is less possible to estimate accurately 
that service than to assess the results of scholar- 
ship or the tangible creations of the executive. 
Dr. Harper is certainly to be put among the 
first few of our great teachers, and possibly of 
the teachers of the world. He has been a later 
Abelard, attracting scholars and students from 
all parts of this country to a place remote from 
the older seats of learning. He went out to 
v/hat was, in the eastern imagination, a wilder- 
ness, but scholars and students followed him, 
and many of them would willingly, had it been 
necessary, have made the sacrifices and endured 
the hardships of the old students of Abelard, to 
be near him. Dean Judson said that at one 
time he seemed to think it his mission to set all 
the world to studying Hebrew, and that, under 
the magnetism of his teaching, it really appeared 
as if it might be done. With Abelard, it was 
theology. With Harper, it was Hebrew. The 
great inspiring teacher was there in both cases. 
It mattered little what the subject was. 

Upon his achievement as a productive scholar 
I cannot dare to set my own valuation. It is 
reported that he said shortly before his end that 
he would rather have produced his book 
on the "Minor Prophets" than to have been 
university president for forty years. Shortly 
after the death sentence came to him, I saw him 
one memorable afternoon last spring at Lake- 
wood. He knew that he had but a year at 
most to live, in all probability, and he kept ask- 



ing me, or rather himself m my presence, to 
which of his tasks he should give those last 
months. He was practically barred from the 
first, his teaching; but should he complete or 
attempt to complete the series of books on the 
Old Testament which he was writing, or should 
he bring nearer to completion his great plans 
for the university which he had builded? I 
think he found himself inclined to do the for- 
mer, and this seemed to me the proper appraise- 
ment of the relative importance of the two great 
tasks that were left to his attempting. 

But whatever our estimates may be of the 
value of his teaching and of his scholarship, he 
is to be best remembered by his work as presi- 
dent of the university. This is to be his lasting 
monument, for it seems firmly established as one 
of the world's great universities. Wherein the 
great executive skill lay which evolved that it 
is difficult to discover. He had no great mag- 
netism of personality except to those who came 
close to him, who knew him intimately. He had 
no grace of speech. He had none of the persua- 
sive powers of the orator. But there was in 
him some subtle power beyond analysis. 

The chemists have recently come upon a proc- 
ess new to them, — upon substances which have 
commanding power over other substances in 
their presence, transforming them without self 
change, without any seeming expenditure or loss 
of energy in themselves. The merest trace of 
one of these "catalysts," as they are named, may 
suddenly "let loose the powerful affinities" of a 
substance before insoluble. And so incommen- 
surate do the cause and effect sometimes seem, 
that one author has likened the process to the 
dissolving of an island by throwing a few hand- 
fuls of crystals upon it. There was a trace of 
something in President Harper which let loose 
powerful affinities between men and their 
wealth, and led them to form new and unselfish 
affinities ; which made soluble minds and hearts 
that had never before yielded to high appeal. 

This is not demeaning his personal qualities ; it 
is only saying that there was a trace of some- 
thing added to those qualities which can be 
analyzed and assessed and catalogued. 

Though President Harper's wisdom in cer- 
tain aspects came out of the East, he was in 
spirit a Westlander. He did what seemed im- 
possible to do, and what would have been im- 
possible to do in the bonds of conventionalism 
and traditionalism. He had freedom to follow 
the best teachings of experience unhampered by 
precedents. And he found great scholars and 
teachers who were eager to join him on that 
"battleground for new and living thoughts," 
the "meeting-place for the world's contending 
forces." He had the love of struggle, but, bet- 
ter than this, he had the genius for hard work. 
Yet he had never the mien of one who was con- 
sciously and anxiously bearing great burdens. 
He kept ever a buoyant spirit and a cheerful 

Once he defined the university as the prophet 
of democracy. And himself the incarnation of 
the spirit and purpose of his own university, he 
stood upon our western horizon a prophet — a 
prophet, worthy to have place with those proph- 
ets of the elder day whose scriptures he so dili- 
gently searched. The great teacher is always 
the great prophet in that he foreordains by his 
teaching. The prophetic power of this man 
was heightened, multiplied, by his assembling 
about him hundreds of other prophets, organiz- 
ing, inspiring, directing their efforts, that the 
prophecy of his ideals should come true ; and es- 
tablishing a school of prophets which for gene- 
rations should continue, not merely to interpret 
the past and measure the present, but, as Presi- 
dent Harper himself wrote out of his aspiration 
for it, "to lead democracy in the true path." In 
the very midst of his definition of the univer- 
sity as a prophet, he reveals the militant char- 
acter of his own ideal prophet, — a university 
that fights the battles of democracy, its war-cry 



being, "Come, let us reason together." This is 
the best depiction of himself — not a mere inter- 
preter of the past or a measurer of the present, 
but a militant, dynamic prophet of the future as 

He has left us, among other writings, his lit- 
tle volume of addresses and essays entitled "The 
Trend of Higher Education." This is not a 
good title. The book is not the survey of one 
who is sitting calmly apart watching the tend- 
ency of things ; it is the appeal of one who, see- 
ing waste on the one hand and need on the 
other, is creating tendencies against the waste 
and toward the meeting of the need. It is again 
the militant scholar crying, "Come, let us rea- 
son together," but employing his great energies 
of soul and body to avoid waste and meet the 
need which his own eyes have seen. 

The heroism of the last year of his life has 
glorified his patient achievements. The she- 
kinah has manifested itself in the great temple 
he has builded. That presence has hallowed all 
that his spirit has touched. This is the best 
promise for the future of the university, that 
the great machine conducted by him — complex 
as it seems, almost beyond the efficient manage- 
ment of any one else — is ever to have that at- 
tendant spirit, even as the wheels which the 
prophet Ezekiel saw in his vision had their cher- 
ubim which went whenever and wherever the 
wheels went. 

The University of Chicago now has its past 
in the completed chapter of his life, and comes 
among the great universities of the world with 
a chronicle of which any university might well 
be proud. 




Formerly Dean of the Yale Divinity School 

It is natural that those who knew President 
Harper only as the organizer of a great insti- 
tution of learning, or as the man of ready and 
pronounced interest in civic or social affairs, 
never unwilling to use his energies unselfishly, 
or as the keen and far-sighted maker of experi- 
ments in the educational world, should lay 
stress upon his marvelous qualities as an or- 
ganizer, upon his tirelessness, his unfailing op- 
timism, his unquenchable belief in ideals and 
skill in putting them into realizable form. 

It is also natural that those who met him 
only in the classroom, or at public gatherings, 
should have carried away an ineffaceable im- 
pression of the seeker after truth, a man of 
scholarly enthusiasms, an untiring student, 
never fearing hard work for himself, and an 
inspiring leader, who exacted it from every 
student, possessing, however, an unusual ability 
in sharing with others those things on which 
he laid the highest value. Perhaps this last 
mentioned characteristic affords the key to Dr. 
Harper's lovable personality, one which, under 
conditions promotive in the highest degree of 
jealousies, misunderstandings, and even bitter 
opposition, kept creating and grrppling friends, 
who remained continuously loyal to him. 

While habitually generous and thoughtful 
for everyone, Dr. Harper did not reveal his in- 
nermost self to many. He had to fight too 
many battles for that. But he was a singularly 
helpful and inspiring friend to those who were 
allowed to share his intimacy. Such realized 
the finer and deeper sides of his nature, and 
that with uncommon quickness. 

It was my good fortune to be brought into 

' Reprinted from the Congregationalist of January 
20, 1906. 

close personal contact with Dr. Harper at the 
outset of his career at Yale. I well remember 
the lasting impression made upon me in our 
informal interview. I had come to the uni- 
versity, believing that it was my duty to pursue 
a certain course of study which was not exactly 
in accordance with my real desires. I had 
settled the question and made up my mind, but 
there was still a lurking desire that my ambi- 
tion to earn a doctor's degree might be grati- 
fied. At a reception given to new students at 
the university, which I attended and at which 
he was present, I was pleased by his instant 
recognition of me, as one of the forty or fifty 
students whom he had seen only a few times, 
and, almost without knowing how it happened, 
found that I had been led by his attitude of 
hearty sympathy to pour out my soul to him. 
At once he grasped the situation, expressed the 
deepest sympathy with it, invited me to come 
and talk it over with him the following day, 
and did not let the matter rest until arrange- 
ments had been made, partly because of the 
fuller light which he was able to throw upon 
the situation, and partly by the use of his in- 
fluence, which were entirely satisfactory to me. 
Few men would have been as ready to throw 
themselves whole-heartedly into the dreams of 
an aspiring but undeveloped youth as he was 
at that time. 

It was the same spirit of generous friendli- 
ness that led him repeatedly during his days 
as a professor and president, even when work- 
ing under the greatest pressure, to receive an 
interrupting inquirer in a way that made the 
latter feel that he was the most welcome guest 
imaginable. For years after his departure from 
Yale it was a common remark that no one was 
ever able to detect a trace of resentment or an- 



vioyance in Dr. Harper's greeting, no matter 
what the circumstances of meeting him might 

Another experience of my own character- 
istically illustrates the wisdom with which he 
dealt with his pupils. I remember being in a 
class of graduate students who were dealing 
with some of the general problems of the Old 
Testament. His object in that class was not 
so much to add to the information of the class 
as to better its methods of investigation. One 
day he assigned me as a task, to be reported 
whenever I was ready, a paper on the First 
Book of Samuel. His directions were simple 
and comprehensive: thoroughly to master the 
book and to bring before the class in due time 
my judgment of it based upon independent 
study. I received the assignment with some 
indignation, regarding it as trivial. As a mat- 
ter of fact, I found it a task peculiarly valuable 
to me. So far as I am able distinctly to de- 
termine, my own fascinated interest in biblical 
study began with that bit of original work. 
Instead of reporting to the class as I had 
planned to do within a week or two, I allowed 
two months to pass, each week filled with the 
hardest kind of study, before I ventured to 
present my results, apologizing at that time 
because my investigations had not been really 
complete. It was just such a bit of work as 
I needed at that particular stage in my own 
career as a student. I have often felt grateful 
to my honored teacher for his kindly firmness 
in insisting on that assignment. 

Another characteristic experience will illus- 
trate the generosity with which he dealt with 
those he trusted. After receiving my graduate 
degree at Yale, I continued there as one of 
Dr. Harper's assistants. My energies at the 
first were only in part devoted to strictly 
academical work. A large proportion of time 
was given to the development of the Institute 
of Sacred Literature, a school for correspond- 

ence instruction in Hebrew and other Semitic 
languages and in the English Bible, which had 
grown out of the older American Institute of 
Hebrew. It was my duty, not merely to assist 
in the work of correspondence instruction, but 
to carry the principal responsibility of detailed 
management. This was an important respon- 
sibility for me at that time, and involved many 
perplexing problems. It was characteristic of 
Dr. Harper, however, to allow me to shoulder 
the responsibility and to reap whatever honor 
there might be in carrying our plans to a suc- 
cessful issue, merely contenting himself with 
saying: "If you get into trouble, let me know." 
It was this habit of his to sketch out an enter- 
prise, but to leave considerable freedom in its 
development to his subordinates, that made 
them so appreciative of his friendship and so 
continuously loyal to his leadership. 

So masterful a man as he, with such broad 
vision and such unlimited capacity of achieve- 
ment, was tempted to use his ability relentless- 
ly, to drive straight over opposition. It was 
always true that he neither spared himself nor 
others ; but his unselfishness was so genuine, 
his friendliness so real, his willingness to share 
with others so marked, that no one who worked 
with him ever resented being driven ; he rather 
felt that he was one of a team and that it was 
his privilege to do his utmost. 

Many tributes will be paid to Dr. Harper's 
courage and faith, to his energy and zeal, to 
his enterprise and wisdom. We who have been 
his close companions rejoice to bear affection- 
ate testimony to his real goodness, to his friend- 
liness, to his delight at the achievement of 
others, and his quick sympathy with all that 
was worth doing anywhere. To serve under 
him was an education. To know him well was 
a constant inspiration for life's service. To be 
his familiar friend was a revelation of some of 
the elements which enter into the finest type 
of Christian manhood. 





Professor of Hebreiv in the United Free Ciiurch College, Glasgow, Scotland 

The death of William Rainey Harper, Pres- 
ident of the University of Chicago, is a severe 
loss to the forces of education in the United 
States, to the ranks of Old Testament scholar- 
ship throughout the world, and to a very large 
number of workers in these and other depart- 
ments, who enjoyed the privilege of his gen- 
erous friendship and of his most inspiring ex- 
ample. . . . 

I do not know what his earliest appoint- 
ments were, but soon after he was thirty he 
became professor of the Old Testament at Yale. 
He was a born teacher, and to his masterly 
grasp of the Hebrew language and a gift of 
lucid exposition, added a strong passion for his 
subject, which he had a wonderful power of 
communicating to his students. His very great 
ability for organization could not be satisfied 
with the work of his university classes ; and, 
besides engaging in the administration of the 
summer school at Chautauqua, and teaching 
and lecturing there, he started and for years 
conducted a system of teaching Hebrew by 
correspondence, which was taken advantage of 
by large numbers of students, lay and clerical, 
throughout the States. It was these proofs 
of his organizing faculty which led to his elec- 
tion, when only thirty-five, as president of the 
still future University of Chicago. 

American universities excel our own in the 
wisdom of choosing as their official and busi- 
ness heads men of comparative youth, in their 
full energy and with their career still to make. 
His work as president during the last fifteen 
or sixteen years has more than justified the 
choice of him. He had a unique opportunity, 

^ Reprinted in part from 
Weekly of January i8, 1906. 

the London British 

it is true, in the powers conferred on him, and 
the finances at his disposal. But it was due to 
his zeal and thoroughness in the initial stages 
of his presidency, and to the infection of the 
energy and high ideals which he sustained to 
the end, that these financial resources, large to 
begin with, were more than quadrupled. 

He had a most vigilant instinct for educa- 
tional worth in other men, of all departments 
of learning, and seldom made a mistake in his 
choice of lieutenants. His eye was upon every 
branch of science, and he kept him.self abreast 
of its most recent achievements and require- 
ments. Also, I never met so vigorous and self- 
reliant a personality, which was so ready to 
learn and unlearn. He had a singularly open 
and alert mind. Whether it was the arrange- 
ment of the studies, of which he was a recog- 
nized master, and their allied departments ; or 
the founding of a new faculty like sociology ; 
or the building of scientific laboratories ; or the 
amalgamation and reorganizing of a medical 
school in connection with the University; or 
the founding of a hospital ; or the direction of 
secondary education intended to lead up to the 
University, he made himself master of all the 
details, and has left his stamp on every one of 
these, and on all the other separate depart- 
ments of his sudden, immense, and carefully 
organized University. 

But his versatility and ability would never 
have achieved such results without his extraor- 
dinary personal strength and powers of work. 
The late Dr. Bruce, himself an unwearied 
worker, who lived and worked with Dr. Har- 
per for weeks at a time, told me that I should 
find him the hardest worker I had ever met. 
That was also Henry Drummond's testimony; 
and when I came to live and work in the Pres- 



ident's house at Chicago, I found it true. All 
the time that Dr. Harper was occupied in form- 
ing and administering the University, he taught 
his own subject two hours daily, he lectured 
much away from home, and during the Chau- 
tauqua term, July and August, he spent from 
Saturday afternoon to Monday morning at that 
summer school, though it lies over eighteen 
hours by rail from Chicago. In addition to all 
this, he preserved his mastery over the rapidly 
widening science of the Old Testament, and 
was able, just before he went into the surgeon's 
hands, to publish one of the most learned and 
judicious commentaries on the Old Testament 
which have appeared during the last fifty years. 
But his greatest and most enduring monu- 
ment will be the University itself, the work of 
only fifteen years ; a vast and noble pile of 
buildings, a staff of more than two hundred 
professors and lecturers, and a body of many 
hundreds of students. Besides the teaching 

and examining work common in universities, 
which has been sustained from one year's end 
to the other — the summer or vacation schools 
filling up the holidays usual in other universi- 
ties — Chicago has issued, in some cases under 
the editorship of Dr. Harper, a large number 
of periodicals on various sciences, which are 
the recognized American authorities on their 
subjects. One can hardly conceive of a larger 
range of labor efficiently commanded and in 
parts personally served by one man in our day. 
Throughout this varied career of attention 
to so many departments of academic life, Dr. 
Harper has preserved his religious temper, and 
worked loyally for the ethical and religious 
character of his university. And his courage 
and faith in face of the early death that has 
confronted him for these two years has been 
even more of an inspiration to his friends than 
the unwearied devotion of his strength to the 
great work of his life. 





Editor of The Outlook 

It is given to few men to achieve so much 
in so brief a space as William Rainey Harper 
achieved in a lifetime of less than half a cen- 
tury. Born in 1856, graduated at fourteen, 
receiving a doctor's degree from Yale Univer- 
sity at nineteen, professor of Hebrew at 
twenty-three, president of the University of 
Chicago at thirty-five, he died at the age of 
forty-nine, having in his fourteen years of ad- 
ministration put that university in the front 
ranks of the universities. A scholar whose 
learning in his special department gave him the 
respect of scholars, a teacher whose capacity to 
arouse enthusiasm was such that he was said to 
have made Hebrew at Yale as popular as foot- 
ball, an extraordinary reader of men, so that in 
an unprecedentedly brief time he gathered 
about him a brilliant and powerful faculty, an 
executive to whose sagacious energy the Uni- 
versity of Chicago is a splendid monument, an 
administrator from whose instinctive observa- 
tion and unfailing memory no detail escaped 
perception and recording, we believe that his 
greatest and most permanent influence is due to 
an idealism with which he was credited only by 
those who had watched his work most closely 
and studied him most intimately. It was this 
idealism that enabled him to create a new type 
of university. 

The distinctive characteristic of the English 
university is culture. Itself the product of a 
splendid aristocracy, it in turn produces the 
world's finest aristocrats. Its product is the 
English gentleman. The distinctive character- 
istic of the German university is scholarship. 
Growing up in an atmosphere of erudition, it in 
turn produces the erudite student. Its product 

^ This editorial is reprinted, by permission, from 
the Outlook of January 20, 1906. 

is the German scholar. These two types of 
university, coming across the ocean, have here 
been naturalized. The older college, formed on 
the model of the English university, and pri- 
marily classical and literary, produced the 
gentleman — an American gentleman. Its aim 
was culture. The newer college, formed on 
the model of the German university, and 
primarily technical even in its classical and 
literary work, produces the scholar — an Ameri- 
can scholar. Its aim has been scholarship. 
The difference between the old and the new 
has been a diflference not merely in curriculum 
and method, but in unconscious aim and spirit. 
President Harper in the University of Chicago 
has given the world a new type, because a type 
animated by a different spirit and proposing to 
itself a different aim. If we may define the 
spirit of the English university by the word 
culture and that of the German university by " 
the word scholarship, we may define that of the 
new type that President Harper has given to 
the world by the word service. 

If all readers were careful, which they are 
not, it would hardly be necessary to say that the 
difference which we here note is relative, not 
absolute, a difference not of essence but of 
emphasis. The older college of the English 
type produces scholars. The newer college of 
the German type produces gentlemen ; and 
doubtless the University of Chicago has pro- 
duced both scholars and gentlemen. But the 
unconscious emphasis of the first has been on 
quiet culture, of the second on zestful investiga- 
tion, of the third on preparation for an active 
American life. The scholarship which the first 
has regarded as a means and measure of self- 
development, and the second as an end in itself, 
the third has regarded as an equipment for 



This spirit of service is here too sharply 
differentiated from that of other and older 
institutions of learning, for accuracy of defini- 
tion is never possible in the spiritual realm; 
but it is the emphasis which the University of 
Chicago has put upon this spirit in its organi- 
zation and administration that has given to that 
university its peculiar history and its distinctive 
features. An institution to equip men for 
service belonged not in an academic town ; 
rather in a great commercial metropolis, and 
in such a metropolis in the middle West. The 
location was fitly chosen. Equipment for 
service appealed to men to whom mere culture 
aaid mere scholarship made no appeal, and so 
brought to Mr. Harper the financial partners 
whose generous co-operation has given the 
University its endowment ; and never, we sup- 
pose, in academic history has so large an en- 
dowment been given in so brief a time. Equip- 
ment for service led to the organization of a 
course of study continuous throughout the 
year, with liberty to pupils to come and go, 
taking their instruction in fragments as best 
they could. Equipment for service inspired it 
to develop a university extension scheme and 
to form affiliations with sister and smaller insti- 
tutions, so extending its organic influence into 
other communities and through other states. 
This spirit of equipment for service has in- 
spired it with a more than intellectual devotion, 
has imparted to it an atmosphere of absolute 
intellectual freedom, has bestowed upon it high 
ethical standards, pre-eminently so on all so- 
ciological topics, and has preserved it from the 
perils which otherwise might endanger an in- 
stitution organized in a commercial city and 
directed to practical ends in a commercial com- 
munity. And last, but not least, this spirit of 
equipment for service has been caught by other 
and older institutions, from which the new in- 
stitution has inherited traditions of culture and 

of scholarship, and to which it has given in ex- 
change a spirit of direct and immediate service- 

Dr. Harper was a greater man than his gene- 
ration realized. Doubtless he had the defects 
of his qualities; but the qualities will be re- 
membered long after the defects are forgotten. 
To the future he will appear great, not merely 
for his scholarship, his teaching enthusiasm, his 
mastery of detail, his indomitable energy; he 
will be recognized as one who felt America's 
need of a new type of university, not to sup- 
plant but to supplement other types, and as one 
who, with the vision to see, had also the power 
to realize. The future, which he has himself 
helped to educate, will see that he was the 
founder, not of a commercial college nor of a 
technical school, but of an American university. 
It will see that he was an educational seer and 
an educational pioneer. And some appreciat- 
ing friend will build for him the one monument 
he would desire above all others, by putting in 
the center of the University campus the college 
cathedral which it was his ambition to erect 
there, to symbolize and to nourish that spiritual 
life which he sought to make the inspiration 
and the glory of the University, as equipment 
for service was its dominating purpose. 

Such a soul cannot die ; death has no domin- 
ion over it. Alfred Tennyson has written its 
biography : 

Life piled on life 
Were all too little. 

Jonathan Edwards has interpreted its spirit.' 
"To live with all my might while I do live." 
When death sent a message before to say, "I 
am coming," he altered not one whit his life. 
He neither defied death as an enemy that he 
hated, nor welcomed it joyously as a friend that 
summoned him to rest from his labors. He 
counted death as an insignificant incident, and 
with unabated devotion to his fellows and his 



God he continued his service to the end. Then, 
when death opened the door, he walked calmly 
through, from life to life. 

The influence of his last days gave a sacred 
radiance to the funeral services on Sunday af- 
ternoon at the University. They were not a 
requiem for the dead, but a commemoration of 
the living. The fitly chosen words of interpre- 

tation and of appreciation spoken by three of his 
intimate friends were characterized by a simpli- 
city, sincerity, and vision which made those pres- 
ent realize the spirit of the risen leader and for- 
get his broken and tenantless house, and in- 
spired them with hopeful aspiration and strong 
resolve to live their lives in service as unselfish 
and in faith as strong as his. 




The long fight which President WilHam R. 
Harper, of the University of Chicago, has made 
against the inroads of a mortal disease reached 
the inevitable result Wednesday. The insti- 
tution over which he had presided since July, 
1891, and which he had developed upon such 
broad and eificient lines, will be his monument. 
He would have been fifty years old next July, 
so that within this short life have been crowd- 
ed his large achievements in the educational 
world. He was one of the most modern school 
of university executives, and his capacity for 
work was marvelous. That his life has been 
shortened by it will not be questioned, but he 
has paid the price, and gladly, of his large ac- 
complishments. When Professor Harper was 
brought from the Yale divinity school, where 
he had occupied the chair of the Semitic lan- 
guages, and was also during his later years 
there Woolsey professor of biblical literature, 
a man had been secured who was to represent 
the most hustling spirit of his environment. 
Chicago does things in pork and wheat, and 
what not, and President Harper did things in 
the collegiate world that were equally master- 
ful and amazing. That wonderful university 
sprang from his brain and hands into a develop- 
ment that commanded recognition all over the 
world, if not always, at once, scholarly approv- 
al. It was astonishing that a theological pro- 
fessor, however youthful, possessed, and de- 
veloped so broadly, all the modern executive 
resources. The system by which he advanced 
and conducted the University embraced the 
most close attention to details, while it com- 
prehended a wide and free outlook in educa- 
tional progress. The amount of work which 
Dr. Harper performed, in addition to his thor- 

' Reprinted in part from the Springfield Repub- 
lican of January 12, 1906. 

ough organization of the University, has been 
rarely, if ever, equaled by any man in a similar 


The work which Dr. Harper did for the 
study of Hebrew is worthy of remark. He 
brought life and interest into a study which 
had been relegated to theological seminaries, 
where students gave little time to it, and that 
little grudgingly, from things which appeared 
to them to be of more immediate interest and 
value. Hebrew scholarship, outside of a few 
seminary chairs, was unknown. His corre- 
spondence school did much to change this situ- 
ation, and there came the discoveries of the 
treasures of the Assyrian valley to quicken and 
widen the investigation by students not only 
of the Bible, but of history, art, and civiliza- 
tion. He established a summer school in Chi- 
cago back in 1881, where the best teachers 
of Assyrian, Arabic, and Syriac came into alli- 
ance with the Hebrew instructors. Distin- 
guished scholars were called to lecture on their 
special themes in connection with these lan- 
guages and the Old Testament. Thus the 
professors of the Semitic languages in more 
than fifty institutions were formed into the 
American Institute of Hebrew. In this new 
Semitic movement Dr Harper was the leader 
and organizer. Dr. Harper's method of in- 
struction and inspiration in these lines have 
thus been set forth : 

He calls his method inductive; but before all 
characteristics of method is the fundamental as- 
sumption that complete mastery of the language is 
attainable with reasonable effort, and nothing less 
is fit to be aimed at. This brushes away all the old 
superficial, empirical ways of study, and brings one 
to the thorough scientific pursuit of knowledge. His 
inductive method is the method of nature, of facts 
before principles, language before grammar. He is 
more than a linguist — he is a philologist. In the anal- 
ysis of forms he carries the mind back continually 



to the fundamental laws of the language and of all 
language, and with constant practice in writing and 
pronouncing, with incessant use of eye and ear, with 
much sight reading and memorizing of words, but no 
memorizing of grammar except incidentally in con- 
nection with observed facts and principles, the pupil, 
by a process of reasoning as well as of memory, comes 
into a masterful possession of the speech. Indom- 
itable physical vigor, a steady glow of enthusiasm, 
intellectual insight, rapidity and energy, philosophical 
grasp and rational unfolding of his subject, perfect 
facility of distribution or power to lay hold of each 
student and give him just what he needs, with a 
beaming disposition to help everybody — these are 
the remarkable qualities that make up his equipment. 

Thus Dr. Harper had rich acquirement in his 
special lines, and to that he added in a wonder- 
ful degree the ready decision, practical com- 
mon-sense, and persistent activity of the most 
progressive of modern men of affairs. This 
was the secret of his remarkable success as an 
educator, which was most strikingly shown in 
his work at Chautauqua. He was a scholar, 
but not a recluse, and possessed the rare gift 
of imparting human interest to the driest 
studies. When Mr. Rockefeller got hold of 

Dr. Harper he chose wisely, and when the new 
president went to the Middle West he was go- 
ing home. He was of the new American type, 
strong in body, sense, and zeal, and carried to 
his great task of building up the University, 
not only culture, but a thorough knowledge of 
his environment, and an understanding of the 
people with whom he had to deal, from the 
millionaire benefactor of the institution to the 
students who made up the University. The 
old college president, with his leisurely grace, 
philosophic thought, and restful charm, was 
not repeated in this new man. He did not 
fall short on the spiritual side, but was mas- 
tered by the idea of service to his generation 
and the purpose to get straight at it. He sought 
to have the University represent character 
more than the old emotional form of goodness. 
He inspired research and scholarship, as well 
as work for the slums, and as the University 
grew in stone and mortar, it also grew in the 
purpose of service. He was a worker of the 
most intense type, and has left his large im- 
press upon the most pushing and forceful uni- 
versity in America. . . . 





Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Literature 

It can seldom be said of anyone with more 
truth than of President Harper that he seemed 
to concentrate his whole self upon the pro- 
gramme of a given moment. Naturally, there- 
fore, many persons who have been in direct 
touch with him at some point assume that they 
have the only true view of the real man. A 
large number of persons have been in close con- 
tact with one or more phases of his life. In 
many cases those who have been associated 
with him longest and most frequently may have 
less precise insight into one of these special as- 
pects of his character than others who have re- 
ceived exceptionally vivid impressions of that 
particular side of the man. 

A stranger who had seen him order a dinner 
under the most favorable circumstances might 
forever after cherish the illusion that the key to 
his whole character is to be found in the tastes 
of an epicure. Another stranger who had seen 
him leave the table for a night or a day or sev- 
eral days of forced work with scarcely a 
thought of food or sleep, might say that the 
man was at heart an ascetic, and that the pleas- 
ures of the table were to him merely items in a 
programme of winning his way by a show of 
good fellowship. If one were to judge solely 
by the amount of thought and labor he would 
expend upon the forms and ceremonies of an 
academic or social function, it would be easy to 
class him as a martinet with vision only for 
trifles. One might have known him simply 
while he was studying large questions of gen- 
eral policy, and might have gained the idea that 
he cared "nothing whatever for details, but was 
interested merely in probing down to essential 

' Reprinted, by permission, 
January 20, 1906. 

from the Standard of 

Some men have doubtless been intimately as- 
sociated with him in certain ways without de- 
tecting any signs that he was religious. These 
may imagine that they have found him out as 
at bottom a hard-headed man of affairs, cyni- 
cally indulgent of the superstitions of others, 
prudently silent about his contempt for their 
opinions, but really a pagan and a materialist. 
Their perceptions would be quite as near the 
truth as those of a man who is color-blind and 
can see only one shade of light in the rainbow. 
Other men would discover in President Harper 
a simple and sturdy Christian faith daily over- 
coming the world. 

Antitheses of this sort might be multiplied at 
great length by comparing different divisions of 
President Harper's life. There would be a basis 
of truth behind each of these partial views. 
Facts that lend themselves to the most contra- 
dictory estimates are actually in evidence. A 
perfectly just combination of them could be 
made only by a man as many-sided as he was, 
who had also known him with equal intimacy in 
every phase of his character. No one is likely 
to profess these qualifications. Any single 
picture of the man will be credible in the degree 
in which it leaves room for lines to be drawn 
from many other points of view. 

No portrait of President Harper can be quite 
natural unless it reveals him as an unspoiled boy 
frankly interested to the very last in every as- 
pect of life. There was no more virility and no 
less morbidness in his eager attention to reports 
from the last Thanksgiving day football game 
than in his earnest reflection the same day about 
the future life. Each was a candid trait of his 
nature. Life to him was not one type of activity 
to the exclusion of others. It was all the activ- 
ities that give genuine expression to any frac- 



tion of human endowment. The only factor in 
the economy of Hfe which he obstinately under- 
valued was rest. One of the most pathetic re- 
grets that he expressed during the last weeks of 
his life was that he had wasted so much time! 

Aside from the scant ration of sleep that he 
allowed himself, his recuperation was usually 
change of effort. Even when he was most com- 
pletely off duty and out of the harness, he was 
always making preliminary motions for the next 
undertaking. In his most playful moods one felt 
that under the surface he was busy running 
down clues to new ideas. Tireless action, both 
physical and mental, was his normal state. His 
curiosity never ceased to be almost childishly 
naive and persistent. He had an omniverous 
appetite for new experiences, and so long as 
they afforded fresh points of contact with hu- 
man interests he made no arbitrary distinctions 
between them. In a southern city he would 
take as much trouble to hunt out the quaintest 
survivals of negro religious traits as he would 
in St. Petersburg to get an audience with the 
czar, or in his own study to test a theor}' of 
textual interpretation. 

He was an unspoiled boy in the perpetual 
youth of his enthusiasms. The memorandum 
book that was his constant vade rnecnm was 
headed "Things to do." Those things crowded 
upon each other like arriving and departing 
trains at a great terminal. If necessary for its 
success he could always be as eager about each 
item in its turn as though his all were staked 
upon it. 

One is tempted at every point to say: "This 
trait was the key to President Harper's char- 
acter." The wiser second thought is that his 
character was the key to his characters. Few 
personalities have been less the consequence of 
a predominating trait. A little analysis of his 
characteristics, whether the more or the less 
obvious, discovers that each was both cause and 
effect of all the rest. The words "poise" and 

"balance" carry associations with colder, less 
ardent natures. They suggest a fixed equili- 
brium of motives. President Harper's person- 
ality was rather a perpetual transformation of 

A cartoon in which his friends would recog- 
nize lifelike features might be drawn in terms 
either of his enthusiasm, his imagination, his 
hopefulness or his prudence, his patience or 
his caution. The sketch would nevertheless be 
a caricature, unless it suggested all his other 
qualities, and conveyed the impression that each 
was a function of every other. He was not only 
hopeful because he was imaginative and enthus- 
iastic, but he was cautious and prudent and 
patient for the same reason. Instead of the 
words poised and balanced, we approach the 
reality only with such words as unified, cen- 
tered, correlated. 

While President Harper was not a man of 
one commanding trait or of one dominant idea, 
his sharply contrasted traits and his widely vari- 
ant ideas found their principle of coherence in 
an inclusive moral conception. Years ago one of 
his friends accused him of indifference to the in- 
terests of individuals if they stood in the way 
of results. In the closing days of his life, when 
he w'as frankly expressing his inmost thoughts 
about the past, and of the great change just at 
hand, he said three things which contain the 
proper reply to that charge. He spoke with 
earnest deliberation, and with apology for the 
egotism of his confidence. It impressed those 
who heard it as an utterly sincere report of the 
most searching self-examination. The first re- 
mark was: "All this time I have never really 
doubted for a moment that Providence had se- 
lected me to do a work that no one else could 
have done under the circumstances." The sec- 
ond was : "I have tried to think whether I have 
ever really wronged anybody. I have done 
things that hurt people, but it was either unin- 
tentionally, or because I believed it was neces- 



sary to act as I did. I cannot remember that I 
have ever willingly done harm to anybody." 
When he was reminded that he had intention- 
ally done good to many hundreds of persons, at 
great expense to himself, he did not disclaim 
it, but treated it as a matter of course, in conse- 
quence of his central thought. In another con- 
versation, a few days later, he said to two 
friends, "I have always felt that both of you 
were too much inclined to say severe things 
about other men's weak side. I have tried my 
best to make the most of the good side of every- 

President Harper's outlook upon life may be 
pretty fairly indicated by use of these land- 
marks. Life presented itself to him in terms of 
work to be done. It was not his way to sum 
this work up in abstract ideas. He thought of 
it rather in definite details and in concrete 
pictures. The words which seemed to serve him 
best as signs of his largest purposes were 
"democracy" and "education." By "democracy" 
he meant all the progress through which human 
possibilities will at last be realized. "Educa- 
tion" represented to him the special division of 
progress and means to progress through which 
his personal efforts for democracy must be 
made. What other men, and he himself some- 
times, would mean by such phrases as "the 
kingdom of God" or "the divine plan" took 
more practical shape in his mind, for working 
purposes, in these two words, "democracy" and 
"education." All his physical and mental and 
moral force converged upon work for these 
ends. All that he thought and did was with 
reference to them. The idea of a "far-off divine 
event" inspired him only when it fell within the 
perspective of these principal and secondary 
conceptions. The scheme of work that took 
shape in his mind in view of these two concep- 
tions was his final test of value. Nothing was 
trivial enough to be ignored, if it could be en- 
listed for education and democracy. Nothing 

was important enough to be tolerated, if it was 
inconsistent with these ends. 

President Harper's attitude toward men and 
things was a consistent reflection of his belief 
that they all had a place to fill and a part to per- 
form in human progress. Perhaps his remark- 
able catholicity is best understood in this con- 
nection. He was not merely indulgent toward 
other men's views, and generous toward their 
part in life, but every man seemed to him to 
have a unique sphere for special work. His 
catholicity was not mere consent to refrain from 
interfering with others. It was a habit of ideal- 
izing other men's powers and opportunities, and 
of wishing he could put himself in their place 
and do their part for all it was worth. One of 
his most characteristic exclamations was : "How 
I wish I could drop everything and give myself 
to that 1" The catalogue of things about which 
different persons have heard him make essen- 
tially this expression would include some of the 
most hopeless and thankless kinds of tasks in 
school and church and state. Every thing that 
needed to be done stimulated his ambition to do 
it. A cynic might call this envy of other work- 
ers, and greed to do everything himself. It was 
sane and contagious sympathy with every part, 
lesser or greater, that belonged in the whole 
harmony of life. 

In the same light we may best appreciate his 
loyalties to persons. Friendship to him was 
primarily partnership in work. Every man ap- 
pealed to him who was serving a puq^ose in life, 
or who seemed to him to have dormant powers 
available for better uses. He wanted no friend- 
ships with people who were good for nothing, 
but every one who was trying to be good for 
something could count on him as a friend. 
"There are great possibilities of good in that 
man" was a remark which he made oftener per- 
haps than any other. It would be a serious 
error to suppose that possible usefulness for his 
own purposes was the condition of his friend- 


ships. He was drawn to every person who had 
a will to bring good things to pass. With all 
such he felt himself embarked in a common 
cause. If the word "brother" had not dropped 
out of our idiom, as a form of greeting between 
kindred spirits, few men would have had more 
frequent use for it, or in a more hearty sense. 
Whenever he had once recognized another as a 
man of good purpose he would have regarded it 
as treason to a common cause to abate his sym- 
pathy with him, or to begrudge any assistance 
within his power. 

It would be another false interpretation to 
construe his loyalties as wholly impersonal. 
While his central conception of life threw his 
friendships into sharp relief as responsibilities 
to be used, rather than as luxuries to be enjoyed, 
it would astonish those who saw only his 
strength and self-reliance in action to know how 
he cherished friendships for their own sake, 
how responsive he was to them, how dependent 
he was upon them. William Rainey Harper, the 
man, had a gamut of personal intimacies as wide 
as the range of action of President Harper, the 
worker. His devotion to his tasks, not his in- 
clination, restricted his purely personal inter- 

To trace his influence over other men to his 
central conception of life may seem to contra- 
dict the judgment that no single element of his 
character accounts for the whole. In fact no 
plausible explanation of President Harper's abil- 
ity to lead others can be proposed without re- 
affirming that judgment. Not merely scholars, 
but business men of many types, interrupted the 
habits of a lifetime to see with his eyes, and 
judge by his standards, and act in the line of 
his plans. Among scholars and educators, how- 
ever individual his views, they always com- 
manded attention and exerted influence. Mem- 
bers of his own faculty often reached conclusions 
directly opposed to his. They may never have 
withdrawn or modified the conclusions. Prob- 

ably they would acknowledge without exception 
that their own estimate of the relative import- 
ance of their conclusions always suffered a cer- 
tain shrinkage when they found that President 
Harper could not be convinced. 

No university president has ever assumed a 
more formidable task of unifying unlike indi- 
viduals in one faculty. Yet no president has 
ever been more successful in retaining con- 
fidence as a leader, in spite of the most vigorous 
dissent from specific details of policy and sharp 
conflicts of academic interests. There is no 
credible explanation of all this in his courage, 
or his enterprise, or his ideality, or in any other 
single trait. Whether the men whom he has 
influenced have been distinctly conscious of his 
own focus of action or not, he could not have 
affected them as he did if he had not been a man 
of finely modulated motives, of strictly organ- 
ized energies, and of accurately adjusted aims. 
Method alone could not have achieved this re- 
sult. His method was merely the active form 
of his fundamental view of life. 

In all this we have observed President Har- 
per's real religion. It was dedication, not 
dogma. He took for granted the simple Chris- 
tian elements that he had learned in childhood, 
but for him their sum and substance was the 
duty and the joy of work. To him religion 
meant the best work in his power for all the 
good causes he could promote. The impulse of 
religion rather than a theory of it, was the con- 
stant undercurrent of his life. The year of 
physical decline was a period of eminent spirit- 
ual growth. It began during his visit to Lake- 
wood, N. J., in the spring of 1905, and was in 
progress as long as his mind was clear. 
It was growth through intense mental struggle. 
He called in friends who had worked with him 
for years, and had never entertained a doubt of 
the essentials of his faith, to help him find his 
own solution for the ultimate religious prob- 
lems. He said he had not been prepared to be- 



lieve that his personality could be so revolu- 
tionized. The occupations of his past life had 
come to seem relatively trivial, and he wanted 
to adjust himself to the larger interests that 
were now foremost. In the talks that followed 
he studied the new situation as methodically 
and frankly as though it had been the routine 
business of a university committee. He re- 
turned time and again to this point of departure : 
"I am not a philosopher, and never could be. 
Leave out all the philosophy and all the the- 
ology, and help me get a plain man's view of 
what I really think about God, and the future 
life, and my own personal relations to Jesus 

After the struggle was over, and the talks had 
become surveys of results, or meditations upon 
what they meant for himself and others, he was 
asked : "How do you account for your complete 
calmness and freedom from problems before the 
operation a year ago, v/hen you understood that 
the chances of recovery were only one in twenty, 
and the conflict that you have gone through 
since?" He answered instantly, "Why, I never 
had time to think these things through before. 
I could only do my work. In the last year there 
has been plenty of time to think." 

But this change was after all a spiritual re- 
valuation and affirmation of what he had been 
doing all his life. It brought out more pro- 
nounced desire for fellowship with Christ than 
he had been conscious of before, and it prompted 
him to express severer judgments upon his 
faults than his friends would accept. In effect, 
however, it was merely the mental and moral 
maturing of the faith that had controlled 
through life. Its main points were simple and 
unequivocal : God, the spirit of life, manifested 
in the whole visible universe; the individual 

soul; Jesus, "the way, the truth, and the life," 
the most intimate revelation of the nature of 
God and the destiny of the soul ; the parable of 
the Prodigal Son, as the deepest disclosure of 
the relation of God to his children. He was 
perfectly clear in his conclusion that the ulti- 
mate test of his relations with God is not a 
balancing of the good against the evil that he 
had done, nor reliance upon any scheme of pro- 
pitiation, but simply the question of fact, 
whether, as the total outcome of his experience, 
his heart was set on knowing as much of the 
divine purpose as he could learn, and on de- 
voting himself to it with all his powers. With 
perfectly calm contemplation of death as imme- 
diately at hand, he said, "I have no idea what 
the activities of the next stage of existence will 
be like, but I have less hesitation about taking 
the next step into the future than I had about 
leaving Yale and coming to Chicago." 

One of President Harper's lieutenants has 
been associated with him a great many times 
when he had escaped from the routine and the 
restraint of his professional duties. He has 
been with him in distant cities, both in this 
country and in Europe. He has seen him mak- 
ing a business of relaxation as intensely as he 
made a business of work, and under conditions 
which granted him the largest freedom from 
observation. He has seen him do a great many 
things that, considered by themselves, would 
fairly be classed as frivolous. He has never, in 
a single instance, known President Harper to 
do an act, or to utter a word, which, either at 
the moment or in the retrospect, could justly be 
pronounced a compromise of his dignity. He 
invariably held himself subject to instant self- 
control when the moment arrived for a serious 
attitude. In work and in play he was a sincere 
and consistent Christian gentleman. 


Professor of Systematic Theology 

Unless a teacher, like the late Master of 
Baliol, possesses some idiosyncrasy or ability 
to make bomiiots, his life does not possess the 
sort of material with which biographies gener- 
ally abound. He may accomplish great things, 
but his life lacks dramatic elements. 

William Rainey Harper furnishes no excep- 
tion to this generalization. Few stories con- 
cerning him float about the campus of any in- 
stitution where he has taught. He had no per- 
sonal peculiarities to start the legend-making 
process, and in all his published works there 
is hardly a sentence which can be detached 
from its context for the purpose of quotation. 
On the rare occasions in which he talked freely 
concerning his early life, his recollections dealt 
almost exclusively with struggles to found an 
institution or journal, and beyond an occasional 
and characteristically modest reference to his 
own share in the work, were impersonal. In 
his reminiscences, as in his daily life, he was 
absorbed in causes, not in himself. 

This self-sacrificing, corporate ambition, 
anyone who knew him at all well recognized as 
his great and dominant trait. To personal ad- 
vantages he was indifferent. He might have 
died a comparatively rich man, if he had saved 
the money he gave to causes to which he had 
devoted himself. He had enough success in 
his life to furnish self-conceit for a dozen or- 
dinary men, but to the very end he was as 
simple as a clean-hearted boy. Even those who 
criticised his methods and policies never sus- 
pected him of self-seeking. 

It is a long way between a boy of nineteen, 
principal of a Masonic college somewhere in 
Kentucky, and the creator of a great univer- 

^ Reprinted from 
January 20, 1906. 

the Sunday School Times of 

sity. The thirty years which made Dr. Har- 
per's public life were full of growth and 
achievements, and make a much longer career 
look insignificant. No man ever depended less 
upon "influence." Utterly unknown when he 
began life, he had to conquer friendships as 
he conquered circumstances. 

President Harper had essentially a creative 
mind. As an administrator pure and simple 
he was equaled by many men, but as a man 
of creative imagination balanced with executive 
ability, in my opinion he is unequaled among 
the great educators of today. As time passes 
his significance will be seen to lie in that which 
was original with himself. Other men have 
achieved great success in developing existing 
institutions, or in following inherited lines of 
action. Dr. Harper was a pioneer who made 
a splendid thoroughfare of a trail he had him- 
self blazed. He originated study by corres- 
pondence. He founded three theological jour- 
nals. He made popular Bible study a national 
movement. He made university extension an 
integral part of collegiate education. He sys- 
tematized the inductive method in the study of 
languages. He was the founder of the Religi- 
ous Education Association. If he did not in- 
vent, he built into genuine educational signifi- 
cance, the summer sessions of our great uni- 
versities. On broad lines, whatever is essen- 
tially characteristic of the University of Chi- 
cago is due to him. The least acquaintance 
with the educational world will show what tliis 
cold statement of facts means. Any one of 
these achievements would have given national 
significance to another man. 

The world at large thinks of him most of all 
as the President of the University of Chicago. 
Although we are too close to him as yet to get 


his true perspective, it is probable that as Presi- 
dent he will be longest known. But he was 
also one of the foremost Semitic scholars in 
the world. There is no president of any uni- 
versity of any considerable size who is in his 
class as an original investigator. With the ex- 
ception of one or two collections of essays, his 
writings are essentially those of a specialist. 
Treatises on Hebrew grammar and syntax 
made his early reputation, but he lived long 
enough to complete the finest piece of work on 
Amos and Hosea ever produced in English, if 
not in any language. Teaching and scholarly 
pursuits served him as a tonic and an inspira- 
tion. He was holding two professorships at 
Yale when he was called to Chicago. He 
taught as much, if not more, than any other 
man on his faculty. For years, in addition to 
two or three regular courses during the week, 
he taught a Sunday morning class composed 
largely of undergraduates. I never saw him 
so enthusiastic as after one of these Sunday 
morning sessions, for above all else he loved 
to teach the Bible to college students. He did 
not believe it was the business of the teacher 
to impose his opinions upon his students, and 
chose to set before them the various possible 
positions. But one could not avoid the in- 
spiration of the born teacher. 

As a teacher of the Bible, he could appeal 
not only to special students, but to the rank 
and file. There are few professors of biblical 
subjects under fifty in the United States who 
have not been members of his classes. They do 
not all agree with his positions, but they all 
recognize their debt to him as a teacher and 
friend. His power over an audience when 
talking upon biblical subjects was something 
hard to analyze. He never was a popular 
speaker, as such speakers go, and yet in Chau- 
tauquas, in lecture courses, in addresses, in 
clubs, in churches, and in religious gatherings, 
his exposition of the Bible was something that 

could never be forgotten. More than any other 
man I ever knew, his method of thought was 
controlled by biblical concepts. Who other 
than he would have thought of founding a 
philosophy of education on the distinction be- 
tween the priest, the prophet, and the sage? 

I knew him best on his biblical side, but my 
duties constantly brought me into contact with 
him in the region of administration. As any- 
one who had any dealings with him knows, he 
had extraordinary powers of analysis and asso- 
ciation. There never was a man more intent 
to get hold of general principles and to 
carry them out analytically. It was another 
illustration of his many-sidedness. As a 
scholar he was inductive; as an administrator 
he was deductive. This power led him in the 
early days of the University to undertake work 
in regions which would be surprising to any- 
one who knew him only as an authority in 
Semitics. For years there was practically no 
detail in the management of the University 
that was not controlled or determined by him. 
From the general plans of a building to the 
style of type in a convocation program his will 
was final. Yet he was never arrogant. In his 
creative moods he was singularly susceptible 
to suggestion. To work with him at such 
times was almost intoxicating. One shared 
in his exuberant vitality and enthusiasm. One 
of the charms of an hour's conversation with 
him was that, no matter how great the pressure 
might be upon him from many duties, he never 
seemed to be hurried, but was always ready to 
run off with almost boyish eagerness into any 
subject suggested by the main matter under 
discussion. Such excursions seldom failed to 
result in some suggestion for later considera- 
tion, and to be jotted down in one of the small 
red notebooks all of us came to know so well. 
And what is more, one always knew that any 
suggestion that was worth while would ulti- 
mately bring results. Though it might lie in 



the President's mind for months, it would some 
day reappear as a part of a far-reaching plan. 
He had singular capacity to estimate the real 
value of men and opinions, but he was always 
anxious to have men disagree with him, at 
least for investigative purposes. In fact, it 
was rather a favorite way of his to ask those 
whom he took into private conference to raise 
some obection to his opinions, or to answer him 
as he raised objections to something to which 
he was favorable. A more appreciative man 
never lived. If one were to look for the secret 
of his extraordinary success in the University 
of Chicago, one item would be found in Presi- 
dent Harper's ability to induce men of wide 
experience in various fields of activity to give 
him advice and co-operation. In a truer sense 
than any of us yet realize he was the unifying 
influence in all University affairs. It is a rare 
man who can at once initiate, co-operate, and 

But he was something more than a mere 
educational Napoleon, as somebody once called 
him. He was a great and many-sided man. 
During his year of suffering it was this we 
thought of most. The tragedy and pathos of 
his fate brough into relief the man rather than 
the official. His vitality and power of work 
had seemed almost supernatural. It was this, 
perhaps, as much as anything, that made men 
feel they had every right to attack him and his 
methods. While he himself had never en- 
gaged in controversy, he had seemed so abun- 
dantly able to take care of himself that men 
the country over had not hesitated to treat 
him as a worthy foeman. But when the tragedy 
of his life broke upon him, the acrimony of 
criticism and one-sided controversy was swept 
away in an inundation of love. Men who had 
differed with him honestly and vigorously 
prayed for him. When last February he went 
to the hospital, the entire country was in spirit 

at his bedside. As one of his colleagues said, 
he was enswathed with affection. 

And all this affection was justified. His 
spontaneity of sympathy, his singular capacity 
to do graceful and kindly acts, his power of 
binding friends to himself, was extraordinary. 
A strong man is apt to be ruthless, and Presi- 
dent Harper had tremendous strength of will. 
But he never meant to be unkind. His posi- 
tion forced him to hold in his hand the fate 
of hundreds of lives. Sometimes he acted to 
all appearances autocratically, but at heart he 
was a democrat of democrats. He could not 
treat a human being impersonally. I have seen 
him sick at heart after he had been forced to 
make some decision which cut into another 
man's hopes. His sympathies were limitless. 
He stole moments from his crowded life to call 
upon sick students and stricken families. Men 
went to him in trouble as they would go to no 
one else. To injure him was to insure gener- 
ous treatment. He forgot enmities, and he 
remembered friendships. Up to the very last 
he wrote little notes of appreciation and sug- 
gestions to all of us. Great as a scholar, 
greater as a president, he was greatest as a 

In fact, no man ever had a larger capacity 
for making friends than President Harper. 
There are men throughout the country who 
have been members of his classes, and some 
even who have met him seldom, who think 
they were peculiarly his intimates. And these 
men knew him in a great variety of rela- 
tions. The members of the National Educa- 
tion Association knew him in one capacity, the 
faculty of the University in another, biblical 
students in another, his classes in another, and 
men of affairs in still another. It is doubtful 
whether more than two or three men ever got 
to know him in all his capacities. The eager- 
ness with which he welcomed a new interest 
made it difficult for its representative to realize 



that he was only one among many to feel his 
cordial and unaffected sympathy. I have talked 
with him on many subjects, but the more I 
knew him the more I saw there was to know. 

Back of all this variety of great powers 
which made President Harper more than a 
merely versatile man and more than a mere 
genius, was a genuine and profound religious 
faith. He never was a theologian, and his 
faith was in many ways untouched by philoso- 
phy. If I were to characterize it, I should say 
it was essentially biblical. He was both con- 
sciously and unconsciously controlled by the 
Bible. In the storm and stress of his manifold 
life, there was always a unifying faith in God. 
He did not wear his religion on his sleeve, but 
any man could touch it if he wished. No stu- 
dent in religious difficulty was ever denied a 
conference. How far his influence was exerted 
over the young men and women with whom he 
worked it would be hard to estimate, but down 
among the very elemental motives of his 
soul was the desire to bring the Bible to 

everybody. There are some things too sacred 
to put in writing, but there is many a man who 
knows what it is to have found in his words 
and influence a new grip upon faith in God. 
As simple as a child in his public prayers, he 
was as elemental as a child in his religious 
life. Never dodging a difficulty or fearing to 
face a mystery, he has left us the memory of a 
faith in God and immortality which was as 
distinct and as controlling in his life as was 
any element of his educational policy. 

In these moments, when the sense of loss is 
still acute, one dares not trust one's self to 
speak of him too intimately. The recollection 
of a year of heroic suffering, in which duties 
were never forgotten and the kindly offices of 
affection and love never neglected, is too sacred 
to bear disclosure. It is enough to remember 
now his splendid life and its achievements, and, 
above all, to believe as he himself believed, that 
his magnetic, creative, masterful soul is now 
taking up new duties in a better life. 





Head of the Department of New Testament Literature and Interpretation 

William Rainey Harper was born in 1856 in 
New Concord, Ohio. His parents, Samuel 
Harper and Ellen Elizabeth Rainey Harper, 
were active and devout members of the United 
Presbyterian church in New Concord. His 
father, a graduate of Muskingum College, lo- 
cated in New Concord, kept a general store, 
and was the treasurer of the college. 

From early childhood William was interested 
in books, and most of all in the Bible. This 
latter fact was due in part to the influence of 
his grandmother Rainey, who was a very de- 
voted student of the Bible, and well known for 
her knowledge of it among the members of her 
community. Before he could read, the boy de- 
lighted to have the Bible read to him, and took 
a special interest in a children's Life of Jesus, 
which he called his "good book." His mother 
relates of him that his father's store being near 
to the home, he often took his book to his 
father to have him read to him from it in the 
intervals between the serving of customers. By 
such reading he learned it largely by heart. As 
soon as he could read he began to commit large 
parts of the Bible to memory. 

He entered college when he was ten years 
old, and graduated when he was fourteen, hav- 
ing habitually taken through his course more 
than the required amount of work. In the three 
years subsequent to his graduation he remained 
at home, acting at salesman in his father's store, 
and studying languages under a private in- 
structor. As a boy he was unwilling to join 
the church of his parents, but wished to con- 
nect himself with the Presbyterian church. 
From this course he was dissuaded by the ad- 
vice of his father, who in subsequent years re- 

' Reprinted, with modifications, 
of January 20, 1906. 

from the Standard 

gretted having influenced him in this direction. 
These years immediately following his gradu- 
ation from college were not years of distinct 
religious growth. The energies of the youth 
were insufficiently employed, and to some ex- 
tent the result usual in such cases ensued in 
this also. 

At the age of seventeen he went to Yale 
University, where he received the degree of 
doctor of philosophy just before he was nine- 
teen. After a year's teaching in a college in 
Macon, Tenn., he came to Granville, Ohio, in 
1876, having been appointed as an instnictor 
in the preparatory department of Denison 
University. Dr. E. B. Andrews was at that 
time president ; Professor Chandler, now of 
the University of Chicago, was a member of the 
faculty ; Professor F. J. Miller, a sophomore ; 
and Professor C. F. Castle, a student in the 
academy. At this time Dr. Harper attended 
the Presbyterian church and was regarded by 
all as a man of Christian character and life. 
But in 1877, after some private conversation 
with Professor Chandler and President An- 
drews, he surprised alike his colleagues and 
students by arising in a college prayer meeting 
and saying, "I am not a Christian, I am not 
sure that I know exactly what it is to be a 
Christian, but I want to be a Christian." There 
was at the time no special religious interest 
and the step was taken wholly at his own ini- 
tiative. Professor Castle, who was at this time 
?. student in Dr. Harper's class, was so influ- 
enced by the action of his admired instructor 
that he also determined to enter upon the 
Christian life. Dr. Harper and Mr. Castle 
were baptized on the same day, Mr. Castle fol- 
lowing Dr. Harper. 

In 1878 the professorship of Hebrew in the 
Baptist Union Theological Seminary at Mor- 



gan Park became vacant, and Dr. Harper, being 
strongly recommended by President Andrews 
and Professor Chandler, and doubtless also by 
others, was appointed, and entered upon his 
duties in January, 1879. It was at about this 
time that he formed that determination which in 
very large measure shaped the course of all 
his remaining years. He recognized it as his 
mission to devote himself to the study of the 
Bible and the promotion of such study. In 
the latter days of his life he said to his inti- 
mate friends: "In all these years I have never 
doubted that God had given me a work to do 
which would go undone if I failed to do it." 
Coming to Morgan Park, he threw himself 
with all his characteristic energy into teaching 
in the Theological Seminary and into religious 
work. He filled successively various offices 
in the church, including those of deacon and 
superintendent of the Sunday school. Of the 
manifold labors of the years 1879-86 in which 
he remained at Morgan Park, this is not the 
place to speak, save to mention the heroism 
and unselfishness with which he devoted him- 
self to the work to which he felt himself called. 
Singlehanded and without money, his reputa- 
tion as yet unmade, he toiled night and day 
at his tasks. It was in these years that he 
founded the Institute of Hebrew, which after- 
wards became the Institute of Sacred Litera- 
ture, and began his correspondence school, 
and established the Hebrew Student, and He- 
hraica, the former becoming subsequently the 
Biblical World and the latter the Journal of 
Semitic Languages. In 1886 he was called to 
Yale to the professorship of Semitic languages, 
to which was added in 1889 the Woolsey pro- 
fessorship of Biblical Literature. Throughout 
these years he was engaged not only in the 
work of his professorship, but at Chautauqua 
in teaching and the building up of the Chautau- 
qua system, in the editing of the Old Testa- 
ment Student and Hebraica, in the writing of 

articles and books, and in lecturing upon the 
Bible in colleges and before large audiences in 
Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, Boston, 
and elsewhere. 

In 1891 he was elected president of the new 
University of Chicago. He hesitated to accept 
the office, not seeing at once how he could do 
so consistently with that former unrevoked 
and irrevocable devotion of his life to Bible 
study. Only when he became convinced that 
as president of the new university he could do 
more to promote the study of the Bible on the 
part of the people than by remaining as profes- 
sor at Yale, did he obtain his own consent to 
the acceptance of the presidency. Let it not be 
supposed that he ever for a moment intended 
to make the presidency a mere instrument for 
the advancement of Bible study; rather was it 
his conviction that, while discharging the duties 
of the presidency for which his past experience 
had convinced him that he had competency, he 
could from the vantage ground of the presi- 
dency, do more for the promotion of Bible study 
than in the less advantageous position of a col- 
lege professorship. During the nearly fifteen 
years in which he was president of the Univer- 
sity he threw himself with all his unparalleled 
force and enthusiasm into the tasks which the 
presidency brought him and the opportunities 
which it opened to him. But he constantly 
kept before him that his life-work was to study 
the Bible and to promote the study by others. 
He often said that if it ever became necessary 
to choose between the presidency and his work 
as a Bible teacher, it would be the former that 
he should have to give up. From the strenu- 
ous duties of administration he turned for re- 
lief and refreshment of spirit to his classroom 
and his books. And in the days of his last 
illness he declared that he would rather have 
produced his volume on Amos and Hosea than 
to have achieved all that he had accomplished 
through his presidency. 



Last September he laid down for the most 
part the active duties of the presidency. None 
who were present at the University Convoca- 
tion held September i, will ever forget the 
impressive scene when, having resolutely per- 
formed all the President's duties through Con- 
vocation week, he came to the last exercises 
of the Convocation itself, and with voice that 
could not be controlled expressed with char- 
acteristic generosity his thanks to the execu- 
tive officers of the University, and the members 
of the Faculty, for their loyal co-operation with 
him through the weeks and the months of his 
illness. There were some present to whom 
the scene had added pathos because, before 
entering upon this series of public presidential 
acts which taxed to the utmost his failing 
strength, he had expressed to them his determi- 
nation to go through them all, knowing that it 
was the last time. 

This task done, and his strength rapidly fail- 
ing, he laid aside as far as possible alike his 
scholarly and his administrative tasks, and 
turned all the energy of his trained mind, still 
clear and unclouded, to the consideration of the 
great problems of personal religion : sin and its 
forgiveness, fellowship with God, the place of 
Jesus Christ in religion, the hope of eternal life. 
He called his friends about him, first that they 
might help him in his thinking, for he always 
loved companionship in thought and work, and 
then that he might impart to them the results of 
his own thought. He brought to bear upon all 
these great problems the same earnestness, 
openness of mind, persistence, and courage with 
which he had attacked in his previous days the 
problem of the teaching of Hebrew, the found- 
ing of a journal, the building up of a university. 
Some day the surpassingly interesting story of 
these last days ought to be told. Now it must 
suffice to state a few of the results of his think- 
ing which he shared as freely with his friends 
as he had freely invited their help. 

His personal faith in Jesus became clearer and 
stronger than ever before. This faith was not 
something new. His interest in Jesus Christ 
began before he could read. As a child the 
story of Jesus was his "good book." This 
faith was renewed and emphasized when in 
early manhood he expressed the determination 
to become a Christian, and subsequently con- 
nected himself with the Christian church. 
Though he rarely spoke of it in public, it was 
known to the few who were nearest to him that 
in all these subsequent years, including those 
of his presidency at Chicago, Jesus held a cen- 
tral place in his religious thinking and faith. 
Only a few months ago in speaking to one of 
his colleagues he strongly deprecated, in lan- 
guage almost impassioned, the adoption of any 
course which should tend to weaken the faith 
of the people in Jesus. But now this faith of 
his youth and his manhood blossomed forth 
into new strength. In one of these late conver- 
sations, when his friend had been speaking of 
fellowship with God, or perhaps of the forgive- 
ness of sins, he said : "But now, what of Jesus 
Christ?" And in another conversation, arraign- 
ing himself sternly at the bar of conscience, re- 
proving himself for the shortcomings of his life 
with a severity to which his friends could not 
give assent, he said, replying to their expres- 
sion of confidence, that the central purpose of 
his life had always been to do God's vnW ; "But 
I have not lived as close to Jesus Christ as I 
ought to have done." His religion was dis- 
tinctly Christian. Though his studies had been 
all these years in the Old Testament, his faith 
was in God as revealed in Jesus Christ. He 
died as he had lived, not simply a religious 
man, but a Christian. This he had been for 
thirty years at least, this he was pre-eminently 
in his last hours. 

He laid great stress in his later thought upon 
the church. To him it was not enough that one 
should live an isolated Christian life. He be- 



lieved not only in Christ, but in institutional 
Christianity. He expressed strongly his convic- 
tion that men of religious purpose should go 
into the church and take active part in its work 
and life. In his childhood he had been dis- 
suaded from his wish to unite with a Christian 
church by the advice of his elders. In his 
early manhood he had taken the step which 
previously he had wished to take, and after 
thirty years of singularly rich and broad exper- 
ience, study of the Bible, and knowledge of men 
and life, he emphasized even more strongly 
than formerly the need of the church, and the 
duty of Christian men to connect themselves 
with it and contribute to its progress. 

In his last days he sought not only to gain 
clear thought for himself, but also to impart 
this thought helpfully to others. But this was 
by no means new. All his days he had been a 
teacher in spirit and in practice. He had learned 
that he might impart, he had gained that he 
might give. He persisted in teaching so long as 
it was possible for him to reach his classroom. 
On the Sunday preceding the Convocation Day 
above referred to, he taught his Sunday morn- 
ing bible class at the University, and added to 
the series of difficult tasks in the week follow- 
ing the meeting of his regular class on the day 
before his last Convocation. And when at 
length, confined by the relentless progress of his 
disease to his bed, wrestling himself with prob- 
lems of religion, he gathered about that bed his 
family and friends to give to them each new 
thought and conviction that he had gained in 
his hours of quiet reflection. 

Remarkably free throughout his life from 
self-seeking, he was to the last characteristically 

In his last days his thoughts turned to the life 
beyond. In previous years he had given much 
study to the subject of conceptions of the future 
life among ancient peoples, and especially in 
the Bible. The life after death was the subject 
of his last classroom instruction, and in the 
hours of his last illness the question took on for 
him a new personal significance. But character- 
istically the thing for which he longed was not 
rest, but work. Calling four of his friends of 
many years about his bed less than two weeks 
before he died, he asked them to pray with him, 
adding, "Let us not be formal, let us be simple." 
And when each of them had prayed briefly, he 
also offered a prayer in words of utter sim- 
plicity and childlike yet masculine faith. 
Among the sentences of that prayer was this : 
"And may there be for me a life beyond this life, 
and in that life may there be work to do, tasks 
to accomplish." And he closed the prayer with 
the words, "And this I ask in the name of 
Jesus Christ." The prayer of his last days 
was the prayer of his life — more work to do, 
tasks still to accomplish. 

Amid all the diversity of his life's tasks that 
life itself was one of unit)' and continuit}'. 
These final expressions, cherished by his friends 
as a precious heritage, were but the blossoming 
forth at the last of what had been present 
throughout all the years. 





Dean of the Senior Colleges 

William Rainey Harper was born in New three years, pursuing 

Concord, Muskingum County, Ohio, July 26, 
1856, son of Samuel and Ellen Elizabeth 
(Rainey) Harper. He was the great grandson 
of Robert Harper, who came from Ireland with 
his wife, Janet, in 1795, and settled among the 
Scotch-Irish people of Western Pennsylvania, 
from which place his son Samuel removed to 
a farm two miles north of New Concord, Ohio, 
where the family made its home about 1848, 
when Samuel, the grandson and father of Pres- 
ident Harper, settled in the village near by. 
The Rainey family also came from Ireland, at 
first locating in New York, but later making a 
home in Cambridge, Ohio, not far from New 
Concord. From this strong Scotch-Irish stock 
President Harper received his natural equip- 

His education was begun in Muskingum Col- 
lege, the United Presbyterian school in his na- 
tive place, when he was eight years old. The 
curriculum then covered six years, two of them 
preparatory and the usual four collegiate. He 
pursued his studies without intermission until 
1870, when, at the age of fourteen, he was 
graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 
As the college primarily was a school of prepa- 
ration for those who intended to enter the min- 
istry of the United Presbyterian Church, the 
study of the Bible in Hebrew as well as in the 
English was a prominent feature of the work. 
The proficiency of the useful student in the 
former was so marked that, when he was grad- 
uated, he delivered his oration in Hebrew, and 
the work in the Bible while in colbje probably 
had more to do with the shaping of his life than 
he or his friends imagfined at the time. 

After graduation he remained at home for 

' Reprinted from the Standard of January 20, 1906. 

favorite studies, and 
then, in the autumn of 1873, he entered Yale 
University, where he became an earnest stu- 
dent of philology under Prof. William Dwight 
Whitney, an instructor for whom he always 
cherished great respect. Completing this pe- 
riod of graduate study, he received the degree 
of doctor of philosophy in 1875, being then 
nineteen years old. Soon after he married Miss 
Ellen Paul, daughter of Rev. David Paul, D. D., 
the president of Muskingum College, and then 
became principal of the Masonic College in Ma- 
con, Tenn. The next year he was called to be- 
come a tutor in the preparatory department of 
Dcnison University at Granville, Ohio. 

The acceptance of this position at Granville 
was an epoch-making event in his life. He 
found himself an officer under the wonderfully 
inspiring leadership of the president of Denison, 
E. Benjamin Andrews. He found a small group 
of earnest and devoted instructors, anxious 
alike for the intellectual and the spiritual uplift 
of their equally earnest students. He examined 
carefully the principles of the Baptist faith and 
became a member of the Baptist church in Gran- 
ville. In the class room he proved an excellent 
drill-master, enlisting the interest of his students 
in a marked degree, and arousing their ambi- 
tions in such a way as to secure great results, 
both in the quantity of work done and in the 
thoroughness in matters of detail. The zeal dis- 
played by him, with this attendant enthusiasm 
among the students, led to his selection as prin- 
cipal of the preparatory department, which he 
had set apart from the college proper under the 
name, Granville Academy. President Andrews 
and he worked together in harmony, devising 
new methods and securing results from their 
students which made every student of either, a 



lifelong friend. It was a matter of deepest re- 
gret to every one in Granville that a higher 
work called him away, when, in 1879, O" ^^ 
recommendation of President Andrews, he be- 
came professor of Hebrew and cognate lan- 
guages in the Baptist Union Theological Sem- 
inary at Morgan Park, 111. 

At this time two educational notions seem 
to have been firmly rooted in his mind ; one 
the belief in the value of the inductive method 
of teaching languages, and the other a determi- 
nation to awaken fresh interest in the study of 
Hebrew by means of instruction by corres- 
pondence methods. With great vigor he de- 
voted himself to these ideas, planning and be- 
coming the joint author of an extended series 
of Latin, Greek, and English textbooks on the 
inductive plan, at the same time publishing a 
series of text-books in Hebrew, organizing He- 
brew correspondence methods and Hebrew sum- 
mer schools, and editing a periodical called the 
Hebrew Student. To awaken interest in a dead 
language like Hebrew was no easy task, and 
there was required an expenditure of large 
sums of money in the printing and circulation 
of literature connected with the work. The 
needed funds were secured at great personal 
sacrifice, many an outlay for personal grati- 
fication being denied for the sake of advancing 
the interests of the cause to which he had given 
his heart. 

He enlisted the co-operation of many who 
contributed money in small and large amounts, 
and who also suggested to him that there 
were many other thoughtful persons who 
would encourage any plan for the more sys- 
tematic study of the Bible. The result was a 
broadening of the scope of the Hebrew Cor- 
respondence School by the organization of the 
American Institute of Hebrew, this again being 
succeeded by the American Institute of Sacred 
Literature, which, perhaps, more than any other 
single agency, has had influence in extending a 

knowledge of the Bible, and the experience of 
which laid the foundations broad and deep for 
the Religious Education Association. For years 
Dr. Harper carried on the work of promulga- 
tion, not alone through the correspondence 
schools and the Hebrew Student, but also by 
means of Bible lectures, delivered in various 
parts of the country, which made his name 
familiar to all those specially interested in Bible 
study. While teaching at Morgan Park he 
gave inspiration to many students, who were 
stirred by his earnestness, aroused by his tire- 
less energy, and encouraged by his friendly 

The natural outcome of the interest in home 
study under direction and in summer schools 
was his connection with the Chautauqua System. 
In 1885 he was made principal of the Chautau- 
qua College of Liberal Arts and six years later 
principal of the entire system, maintaining this 
relationship until 1898. The year after beginning 
the Chautauqua work he received and accepted 
a call to become professor of the Semitic lan- 
guages in Yale University. In this wider field he 
again stirred his students to great enthusiasm, 
and by means of his public lectures in New Ha- 
ven, New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis 
and other large cities, and at Vassar, Wellesley" 
and other colleges awakened widespread interest 
in Bible study. In 1889 he had the great dis- 
tinction of being elected by the authorities of 
Yale to the Woolsey Professorship of Biblical 
Literature, thus holding two full professorships 
in the institution at the same time. 

Before this time, however, he perhaps had 
received intimation that the great work of his 
life was to be done in Chicago, for, in the 
autumn of 1888, Mr. John D. Rockefeller sought 
opportunities of conference with him regarding 
the establishment of an institution of learning 
in this city to replace on surer foundations 
the earlier university which had closed its doors 
in 1886. The outcome of these conferences was 



Mr. Rockefeller's declaration in November, 
1888: "I am prepared to say that I am ready 
to put several hundred thousand dollars into an 
institution in Chicago." The next two years 
were filled with work for the new institution. 
In everything that was done Dr. Harper was 
prominent. He was one of the committee of 
nine men who reported upon the scope the new 
school should assume. He was a constituent 
member of the board of trustees under the 
charter of the University, dated June 18, 1890. 
On September 16, 1890, at the same meeting of 
the board which heard Mr. Rockefeller's letter 
read announcing a second gift of $1,000,000 to 
supplement the former pledge of $600,000, Dr. 
Harper was unanimously and enthusiastically 
elected president of the University of Chicago. 
In February following he accepted the position 
and promised to begin his active duties on July 
I, 1891. 

The history of the institution since that date 
is largely the biography of President Harper. 
Every building bears his imprint, every detail 
of educational policy has been worked out under 
his watchful eye, every instructor has received 
appointment upon his recommendation ; the Uni- 
versity is his lasting memorial. It is too early 
to attempt final estimate of President Harper's 
work in connection with the institution, but it 
is interesting to note how earlier experiences 
influenced him in the organization of the Uni- 
versity. It is instructive to see how his life 
culminated here. It is helpful to observe how 
the hand of God seems to have led him to Bible 
study in the little church college of his boyhood, 
to Yale to gain inspiration from a great spe- 
cialist, to Granville to find connection with the 
Baptist denomination and the friendship and en- 
couragement of President Andrews, to Morgan 
Park for a wider outlook and for association 
with Dr. Northrup and his able helpers, to the 
Chautauqua connection with its thousands of 
members, and then back to Yale for the ma- 

turer acquaintance with university work which 
should prepare him for his task of the near 

One of the features of the new University of 
Chicago was the University Extension Division 
whose three-fold plan of instruction by means 
of lecture-studies, by class-studies, in after- 
noon and evening, and by correspondence-stud- 
ies, was in large measure only the development 
of previously accepted ideas, thoroughly tried 
by him, and in whose efficiency he firmly be- 
lieved. In like manner the Hebrew Student, 
which diflferentiated itself in time into Hebraica, 
a journal given more strictly to the linguistic 
side, and into the Old Testament Student, 
which dealt with the literary element, may 
have suggested the publication in connection 
with the University of a series of journals, each 
devoted to a special department and designed 
to furnish fresh contributions to a particular 
branch of investigation. Among the first of 
these was the Biblical World, showing in its 
new name the widening scope of the work, and 
serving as a type of many such expansions 
which came to President Harper as the Univer- 
sity grew in wealth, in schools and colleges, 
and in power. 

During the fourteen years of intense ac- 
tivity in connection with the development and 
growth of the University, President Harper 
made his influence felt in many outside chan- 
nels. In Chautauqua circles, as a member of 
the Board of Education of Chicago, as a prime 
mover and first secretary of the Association of 
American Universities, as one of the inner group 
of the National Education Association, as the 
practical founder of the Religious Education 
Association, as adviser in connection with the 
establishment of Lewis Institute in Chicago 
and the Bradley Polytechnic Institution in 
Peoria, as a member of several of the promi- 
nent clubs of this city, as superintendent and 
chief inspiration of the Hyde Park Baptist Sun- 



day school — in a thousand ways he shared the 
busy life of the age, and gave what of good he 
could for the uplifting of his fellow men. 

In the University he always taught more 
classes than the ordinary rules suggested, and 
it was one of the trials of his life that his ad- 
ministrative duties so often interfered with his 
class-room work, and especially that men should 
think of him primarily as an administrator in- 
stead of as a scholar and teacher. It therefore 
was peculiarly gratifying to him, when some 
book came from the press which revealed the 
scholarly work he had been doing even when 
burdened with the heaviest administrative de- 
mands upon his time and strength. Forced by 
the position he held to give much time to pub- 
lic functions, he loved his personal friends and 
was never happier than when in the midst of 
his own family. A tireless worker himself he 
trained a corps of assistants who gained in- 

spiration from him and tried to help him in 
the realization of his ideals for the University. 
No greater testimonial could be his than the 
manifest spirit of loyalty to his ideas that pre- 
vails among the University Faculty and in the 
student body. 

A wonderfully magnetic and inspiring teach- 
er, a trained scholar and specialist, a masterful 
administrator, a patriotic and active citizen, 
a man of warm personal friendships, a loving' 
husband and father, a hero of industry. Presi- 
dent Harper filled full the record of his less 
than fifty years of life. It is hard to realize 
that he is dead. It is certain that though he 
is dead his spirit will be felt for years in the 
lives of those he has influenced, in the ideas and 
ideals he has cherished and inculcated, in the 
great university which for ages "beneath the 
hope-filled western skies" will tell of his suc- 
cessful labors for the good of humanity. 





Dean of the College of Education 

In the early days of the University, Dr. Har- 
per told me that he resolutely withstood every 
temptation to consult catalogues and descrip- 
tive circulars of other institutions in forming 
his plans for the new university. He did this 
merely that he might keep his mind open for 
the best things that could be devised, that the 
new institution might fulfil its peculiar mission. 
This is an illustration of the method of the man 
in all his work. Whether in matters pedagogi- 
cal or administrative, he followed the method 
of induction. He sought to look steadily at all 
the conditions involved in his problem, not for 
the purpose of asking first of all what others in 
similar situations had done, but to see first of all 
what was true, suitable, fitting to the case in 
hand. On the administrative side he was, there- 
fore, infinitely more than a mere executive. He 
not only had wonderful power to bring things 
to pass, but his very life was in devising, creat- 
ing, and organizing. The expression so fre- 
quently heard in the last few days that the Uni- 
versity itself will be Dr. Harper's great and 
everlasting monument, can be rightly under- 
stood only in the light of a knowledge of this 

Without doubt Dr. Harper is best known, and 
will always be best known to the world at large, 
as an administrator. Probably there are not in 
the world ten men who are his equals in this 
respect. Neverthless, the assertion that his 
memory will be preserved chiefly by this awak- 
ens in those who knew him best a sort of resent- 
ment. To us it seems to leave out of account 
the greatest and most essential qualities of the 
man, qualities without which he could not have 
been the great administrator that he was. No 
man could achieve what he did merely by skill 

'Reprinted from the Standard of January 20, igo6. 

as an organizer and as an executive in the ordi- 
nary sense. "We will do whatever the Presi- 
dent asks," has been a familiar phrase on the 
university quadrangles, not because the Uni- 
versity has been presided over by an autocrat, 
but because it has had at its head a man who 
invariably inspired profound affection and en- 
tire confidence. The secret of Dr. Harper's 
greatness and power is to be found in the 
"personality" of the man, in those traits that 
inspire absolute and grateful loyalty. He was 
without doubt a great man. great as a scholar, 
as a teacher, and as an organizer. But he was 
great as an organizer because he put into that 
work those qualities of marvelous insight, 
personal and contagious inspiration, and un- 
failing kindliness, which won for him the de- 
voted service of all about him. 

All this is meant when it is said by any one 
who knew Dr. Harper that he will be remem- 
bered chiefly because of his genius as an admin- 
istrator. Of him the word genius may be ad- 
visedly used. He had the extraordinary in- 
sight, that invariable mark of genius, which 
made him fertile in resources, for devising 
either some new and better way of doing what 
had been done before, or some newer and better 
thing than had ever been done before. He was, 
as I have already said, an innovator, but never 
for the mere sake of innovation. What he pro- 
posed always justified itself, and although at 
the beginning of the University the new schemes 
were projected with almost bewildering rapid- 
ity, the surprise of their newness and their 
rapidity was lost in admiration at the harmony 
with which they worked together for good. 
Dr. Harper's organization and administration 
was his very own. 

By a sort of natural selection Dr. Harper 



from the beginning of his career selected fields 
of activity that seem especially to have devel- 
oped his qualities as a leader. As principal of 
an academy, at Granville, Ohio, as professor of 
Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis in the 
seminary at Morgan Park, as organizer of the 
American Institute of Hebrev^^, as principal of 
the Chautauqua College of Liberal Arts, as pro- 
fessor of Semitic languages and biblical litera- 
ture at Yale University, he exhibited on the one 
hand his rare abilites as a scholar and as a 
teacher, and on the other his genius as an or- 
ganizer. In 1890 he took up the task of organ- 
izing the University of Chicago, having served 
his apprenticeship and bringing from his ex- 
perience the fullness of power which made pos- 
sible the results with which all the world is 

It would not be appropriate to undertake a 
minute analysis of the illustrations of his ad- 
ministrative ability as shown in the organiza- 
tion of the University of Chicago. Two or 
three examples of it are, however, pertinent. 

Among the provisions which his insight 
showed him to be necessary in order to meet 
more completely than heretofore the need of the 
people for higher education, was that of the 
extension of teaching beyond the university 
premises. The idea of university extension did 
not originate with President Harper, but he 
saw, as no one else had seen, its possibilities 
for American students and communities, and he 
reorganized this form of teaching accordingly. 
University instruction was given to classes 
formed in various parts of Chicago; lecture 
courses by university men were made possible 
in any locality desiring them; correspondence 
instruction in a great variety of university sub- 
jects was promised. As a matter of fact, the 
class organizations have developed into the 
University College in the heart of the city. The 
lecture courses have been given in closely 
neighboring centers, literally from the Atlantic 

to the Pacific, and members of the University 
Faculties, through correspondence, are instruct- 
ing students in every part of the world, in sub- 
jects ranging from oriental literature and phil- 
osophy to manual training. The organization 
of this work as effected by Dr. Harper has 
given the University of Chicago a wholly 
unique position among the universities of the 

The President was quick to perceive another 
opportunity for rendering a larger service to 
students in the organization of continuous ses- 
sions. It was announced that the University 
would offer its courses in full throughout the 
entire year. This has been a great boon to 
young men and women. A few weeks more or 
less are frequently of vital significance to a 
student. The opportunity to take up courses of 
study at the beginning of any quarter and of 
continuing, if need be, during four quarters of a 
year, has saved to many young men and women 
needed money and priceless time, and has de- 
termined in their favor the securing of import- 
ant positions in life. The summer quarter has 
been of incalculable benefit to literally thou- 
sands of students and teachers. In the continu- 
ous sessions, and in the summer quarter. Dr. 
Harper led the way, and many of the strongest 
and oldest universities in the country have, so 
far as they could, followed in his steps. 

It was inevitable that Dr. Harper should 
never be satisfied until the University was so 
organized as to present a continuous and closely 
compacted educational system from the begin- 
ning to the end. As in other instances, so here, 
he at once combined with the insight of genius 
the ability to realize his conception. Ready to 
his hand were the Chicago Institute, under 
Colonel Francis W. Parker ; the University 
Laboratory School, under Dr. John Dewey ; the 
Chicago Manual Training School, conducted 
by Dr. Henry H. Belfield, and the South Side 
Academy, under Principal William B. Owen. 



There, also, was the royal generosity of Mrs. 
Emmons Blaine. Out of these elements Dr. 
Harper created a great School of Education, 
one of the two higher institutions of this 
country for the professional training of ele- 
mentary and secondary school teachers. With 
the incorporation of this school into the uni- 
versity system it is possible for a child to enter 
its school as a member of the kindergarten and, 
without ever leaving its classrooms, to pursue 
his course until he receives the degree of doctor 
of philosophy. 

Continually one comes back to this phrase, 
"Dr. Harper was a great man." Not only are 
we saying this now that he is gone, but we 
have said it at any time during the last ten 
years. He was great because he brought benef- 
icent things to pass. Mere genius sees vis- 
ions and dreams dreams. The great man adds 
to the "vision" the "faculty divine" of expres- 
sion, utterance, and execution. Dr. Harper 
was pre-eminently a creative administrator of 
clear ideas and splendid courage. 

We know nothing of the details of the fu- 
ture life, but we believe that this universe is 

administered upon a wholly reasonable plan. 
We cannot doubt that the great abilities of this 
man will be brought to bear upon great under- 
takings elsewhere. We say of him as Tenny- 
son said of Arthur Hallam : 

Thy leaf has perish'd in the green, 

But somewhere, out of human view, 
Whate'er thy hands are set to do 
Is wrought with tumult of acclaim. 

And as he was here, so we must believe he 
will be in spirit and activity there — a great ad- 

One who never turned his back but marched breast 

Never doubted clouds would break, 
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong 

would triumph, 
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better. 
Sleep to wake. 

No, at noonday, in the bustle of man's work-time 
Greet the unseen with a cheer ! 

Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be, 
"Strive and thrive!" Cry "Speed, — fight on, fare ever 
There as here !" 

univ£:rsitt be cord 




Of the Department of Semitic Languages and Literatures 

The great work of President Harper in 
originating, organizing, and guiding the growth 
of the University of Chicago has so laid hold 
of the popular imagination that the fact that 
he was a scholar has escaped the minds of niany 
people. Yet had he not been a scholar, the 
vision of a great university could never have 
come to him. It was but the outgrowth of his 
passion for scholarly ideals and his determina- 
tion to propagate them to the full extent of his 
powers. His scholarly qualifications were 
widely recognized before he became a univer- 
sity president, and the assumption of the great 
tasks and reponsibilities connected with that 
office did not involve the cessation of his activi- 
ties as a productive scholar. Nothing but the 
most ardent and unselfish devotion to scholarly 
pursuits could have held him fast to his early 
ideals in the midst of the turmoil and distraction 
of his official life. The place occupied by his 
studies during this later period may be learned 
from the following sentence from the preface 
to his recent commentary on Amos and Hosea: 
"But in all these years of administrative con- 
cern I have had recourse for change, comfort, 
and courage to my work on the Twelve 

The tangible evidence of President Harper's 
own productive capacity as a scholar is to be 
found largely in the columns of Hebraica, a 
technical Semitic journal founded by him in 
1884, while teaching in the seminary at Morgan 
Park, and now published by the University of 
Chicago Press as the American Journal of 
Semitic Languages and Literatures. His most 
important personal contribution to this journal, 

^ Reprinted, with slight additions, 
Standard of January 20, 1906. 

from the 

aside from his editoral activity, was a series of 
articles on "The Pentateuchal Question" pub- 
lished in Vols. V-VH (1888-90). These were in 
the form of a discussion with the late Professor 
William Henry Green, of Princeton University, 
then the greatest representative of the tradi- 
tional view of the Old Testament. Dr. Har- 
per's articles still remain among the most 
exhaustive and powerful presentations of 
the evidence for the delimitation of the main 
sources in the Pentateuch as they are generally 
recognized by the scholarship of today. In 
addition to this must be mentioned his Amos 
and Hosea (International Critical Commen- 
tary) published in March, 1905, together with 
its two companion works. The Structure of the 
Text of the Book of Amos, and The Structure 
of the Text of the Book of Hosea, which ap- 
peared about the same time. This commentary 
is President Harper's masterpiece, and, with 
its two subsidiary studies, represents the best 
work of his life. It has received unstinted 
praise for its learning in all quarters, and is 
unhesitatingly described by the most competent 
to judge as standing abreast of the best schol- 
arship of the age. It is characterized by its 
thoroughly scientific method ; by the abundance 
of materials brought to illustrate and elucidate 
the text and interpretation ; by the enormous 
amount of reading it represents and repro- 
duces ; by the familiarity it evinces with all the 
best work, ancient and modern, upon these 
two prophets ; by the wide range of the subjects 
it includes and treats at length; by lucidity of 
expression ; by the great analytical power it 
shows ; by its true interpretative sympathy ; 
and by its independence and soundness of 
judgment. The untimely cessation of this work 



upon the Minor Prophets is a grievous loss to 
exegetical Hterature. 

Not the least important phase of President 
Harper's career as a scholar was his ability to 
impart his own methods and spirit to his stu- 
dents. His enthusiasm was contagious. He 
was no mere dry-as-dust delver into the mines 
of ancient lore. Contact with his lich and force- 
ful personality enkindled in many hearts the 
desire to know the truth and to have a share in 
bringing other men into the goodly fellowship 
of seekers after truth. Many of the leaders 
of biblical and Semitic study on this continent 
are proud to acknowledge their indebtedness 
to him for instruction and guidance. Few 
teachers equaled him in the power to inspire 
a student to do his utmost. All the strength of 
his magnificent mind and the power of his mag- 
netic personality were at their best in his work 
as teacher, and hopelessly dull and unrespon- 
sive must have been the student who failed to 
kindle under such instruction. 

As a Christian scholar he has greatly en- 
riched the religious life of America by helping 
to demonstrate that a man may apply the most 
rigidly scientific standards of criticism to the 
biblical literature and be not one whit the less 
a Christian. He has done more than any other 
one man to bring the historical method of Bible 
study into good repute, both within and outside 
of the church. This purpose to popularize the 
study of the scriptures found expression in the 
establishment of a system of correspondence 
study ; in the founding of the Biblical World, a 
journal intended for the more intelligent lay- 
men and ministers ; in the constant readiness 
to deliver public lectures upon biblical subjects; 
in his biblical work at Chautauqua ; in a series 
of textbooks, known as "Constructive Studies," 
and intended for Sunday schools and academic 
classes; in his introduction into the curriculum 
of the Divinity School of a large amount of 
biblical instruction based upon the English text 

rather than the Hebrew ; and in his creative 
share in the organization of the Religious Edu- 
cation Association. Being by temperament, 
inclination, and ability qualified for scholarly 
pursuits of the highest order, he deliberately 
surrendered his own personal preference in 
order that he might in larger measure contrib- 
ute to the religious need of the times. .Self- 
abnegation of this character was his constant 

Comparatively little time was his even for 
the furtherance of the study of the scriptures 
by such methods. His official duties were ever 
pressing upon him, and were accepted cheer- 
fully as part of his destined work for humanity. 
Many a time, when he had escaped for a little 
while to the seclusion of his own Hbrary, and 
we were working together in his favorite field, 
he has said: "These hours among my books 
are the happiest in my life; just imagine it 
being this way all the time!" A statement of 
his own feeling upon this point may be quoted 
here from a recent letter to a friend : 

When I left my work in New Haven to come to 
Chicago I was laying greatest emphasis upon the 
scholarly side. Up to that time I had given myself 
largely to scholarly work. On coming to Chicago 
I had to turn aside for the next ten or twelve years 
to secure money for the University, and in doing this 
I was compelled to throw myself into that side of 
the work. The consequence is that Chicago and the 
Northwest think of me as a "money-getter," and 
that is the reputation I have everywhere — a reputa- 
tion which is hardly fair in view of my antipathy 
for this kind of work and my love for the other. 
. . . .The thing that troubles me is that I seem to stand 
in the West for something which I do not really 
represent, and the thing which I represent is not ap- 
preciated or understood or even known by the great 
majority of the people who are familiar with the 
working of the University. 

Here is a man whose exceptionally philo- 
sophic type of mind on the one hand, and 
marvelous capacity for minute and detailed 
investigation on the other, coupled with almost 



boundless energy and supreme devotion, 
might have made him the acknowledged leader 
of the scholars of his own department in his 
own generation, deliberately abandoning this 
high honor when it was already within sight, 
in order that he might minister the more di- 
rectly and widely to the men of his time. 

I would fain speak of many other character- 
istics of this great scholar, such as his desire 

for truth and hatred of shams, his interest in 
men rather than things, and his catholicity of 
spirit; but I must content myself with the sim- 
ple but heartfelt acknowledgement of my own 
inestimable indebtedness to him for the impart- 
ation of higher and broader ideals of scholar- 
ship and of life. No influence can surpass in 
value that which comes through daily contact 
with the life of a great man.